The Young Farmers Overwintered Cattle show and sale - and its vital role in the future of the sector
It’s well known that a major focus for the agricultural industry is attracting and inspiring the next generation of farmers.
From reaping the commercial benefits of a fresh perspective; tackling the challenge of the ageing farming population; and securing a sustainable future for the sector, the reasons are clear.
Supporting the next generation through sponsorship
That’s why Ledingham Chalmers continues to play a role in encouraging new entrants to the industry through our sponsorship of the annual Young Farmers Overwintered Cattle show and sale at Thainstone, near Inverurie.
ANM Group organises this event, one of the most significant in the rural calendar, which remains a firm favourite among the farming community.
Right from the outset, from the first competition in 1992, the show and sale has inspired young farmers to practise the art of stockmanship in selection, feeding, presenting and parading animals.
Participants aged between 14 and 30, who are affiliated with a young farmers club, rear cattle over the winter months before showing them in a friendly competition with their peers before selling them at auction.
Importantly, those taking part gain an in-depth understanding of the auction system, as well as the overall experience of trading at the mart: both of which are vital for the future of the industry.
This years event — celebrating 25 years
We became sponsors in 2009, with our first show and sale in 2010. What’s been encouraging throughout this time is that the competition consistently attracts outstanding entries.
And this year was no exception.
Celebrating 25 years, the 2017 event took place on 23 and 24 March and brothers Ally and Grant Fraser from Easter Clune, Nairn, stole the show: scooping the top price out of 44 animals sold, as well as the overall bullock, heifer, home bred and championship titles.
Ally Fraser landed the overall show championship title with his 13-month old, 484kg Limousin cross heifer: topping the sale at £3,400 to an undisclosed buyer.
The steer champion came from Ally’s brother, Grant, who won this title for the second year in a row. His 11-month old, 452kg Limousin sold for £1,280 to Emslie’s Livestock, Kinknockie, Mintlaw.
And to celebrate the event’s silver anniversary, a new Calludrum Cup was introduced: emphasising the commercial aspects of livestock production.
With a twist in its first year, due to a points tie, the cup, cash prize and best overwintered animal title were jointly awarded to James MacIver Jnr, Wester Coltfield, Kinloss, and Stuart Ross, Wardhead, Strichen.
While I’ll remain with Ledingham Chalmers as a consultant, it seems fitting that the days running up to my retirement as partner should be marked with such a successful, and valuable, event where the quality of entries was quite simply unsurpassed.