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North-east finalists celebrate the role farmers play in keeping the country fed and protecting the countryside

By David Porter

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The British Farming Awards 2021 which saw sixty individuals battle it out for the 15 categories up for grabs have announced their winners following a ceremony held on Thursday evening, with several north-east recipients in the mix this year.

Alongside farming’s core sectors including dairy, beef, sheep, arable and machinery, there was also a celebration of new entrants coming into the industry, the wealth of diversification businesses and family farms and recognition to the evolving presence of agri technology within agriculture.

Chloe Shorten
Chloe Shorten

Farm Worker of the Year saw an gold award win for Chloe Shorten from Keith who works for, J C Innes and Son

Chloe works on a 1140 indoor sow unit and at just aged 21 was offered manager position to oversee the daily running of the business, which spans 1600 hectares.

She aims to make the business thrive and is a keen advocate for pig farming, and regualrly works to educate others about the industry and combat the negative backlash experienced by fellow pig farmers.

Alongside her full time position she is studying a degree in agriculture and is very much utilising her learning into her job.

It is very clear to see her contributions to this farming enterprise and the rewards which they have subsequently. She cares about her job, the animals, her employers and is a credit to the sector.

She commented: "I am truely dedicated to the job and very particular about the way the job is done to ensure the highest of welfare standards."

Martin Dillon
Martin Dillon

Machinery Innovator of the Year saw a silver award for Martin Dillon for the Tilting Bale Spike

Martin runs a dairy beef calves and fattens them up and grows wheat and barley.

The bale spike picks up a bale, tilts upwards to then be able to pick up a second.

After researching the market, Martin couldn't find a piece of kit that moved bales with a spike.

He has since moved around 3000 bales of silage and 2000 bales of straw and has improved time efficiency and manual labour on his farm.

He commented: "I am always looking for ways to speed up/ make efficiencies.

"Sometimes it is buying a new bit of kit, sometimes it is something simple like a gate, sometimes it is a modification to a bit of machinery.

"The design means you can spike your first bale and then spike the second bale without having to put down and place the first bale and it works in silage hay or straw. "

The Marshall Family who are well known in the Garioch area both for their farming concerns and their popular farm shop were silver award winners for Family Farming Business of the Year

Farming and family are at the heart of what they do and together they have turned a traditional farming business into a thriving retail enterprise, representing the best of modern Scottish farming.

Andrew and Lauren Houstoun of Glenkilrie Farm, Perthshire who have local family connections to the Turriff area were also announced as Diversification Innovator of the Year (small-medium) silver award winners.

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