Young Farmers gear up for overwintering competition at Thainstone Centre

Finlay Hunter (winner of Calladrum Cup 2023)

THE ANNUAL Young Farmers overwintering competition hosted by Aberdeen & Northern Marts in conjunction with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC), will be held at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie on Friday March 29.

The objective of the competition is to encourage young farmers to take part in the buying and selling of cattle through the live auction system and, in particular to practice the art of stockmanship in the tasks of selection, feeding, presenting and parading animals for Show and Sale. Young farmers are offered the opportunity to purchase cattle at the autumn sales, feed them through the winter with a key part of the competition covering the commercial aspects of production in the feeders’ margin and daily weight gain categories.

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Young Farmers from across the North of Scotland will be competing to win the Calladrum Cup and participate in categories such as best quality animal, best presented & paraded animal, highest average daily liveweight gain, highest feeders’ margin, best overwintered animal, the novice award, the junior Young Farmer award and the Young Farmers Club award.

A total of 49 exhibitors are set to participate in this year’s competition, which is sponsored by Ledingham Chalmers, with a total entry of 94 calves featuring at the event including 71 heifers and 23 bullocks. This year’s event will take on a new format to ensure Young Farmers are supported and gain more exposure for stock entered, this consists of the show and sale now taking place in one day. The show will take place from 11am on Friday 29th March with Derek Nelson from Mains of Lundie, Edzell judging the entries, with the auction commencing after the sale of store cattle also on Friday March 29. Young Farmers with entries can arrive with cattle on Thursday March 28 from 6pm to 8pm for weigh in at Thainstone Centre.

Scott Chapman, Auctioneer at Aberdeen & Northern Marts said “We are delighted to be hosting the event at Thainstone and it has been great to work with Young Farmers to enhance the format of this year’s event with many more exhibitors taking part. We have a strong entry forward from Young Farmers across the North, who have all worked hard over the winter months to get stock ready for showing. The overwintering competition provides a platform for young stockmen to show and parade cattle, as well as the opportunity to conduct business”.

Hazel Moir, Partner at full service law firm Ledingham Chalmers Solicitors said “This annual competition has an incredibly important role to play in terms of helping to inspire the next generation of farmers. Year-on-year the amount of effort and preparation those taking part put in is impressive and, throughout our longstanding involvement with this event helping support and encourage this commitment, it’s heartening to see so many competitors return again and again, as well as plenty of new faces taking on the challenge for the first time”.

At last year’s event the winner of the Calladrum Cup for the best overwintered animal was Finlay Hunter from West Cairnhill, Culsalmond, Huntly and the top price of £3,400 was achieved for a 448kg Charolais Cross Heifer from Mark Robertson, Easter Fodderletter, Tomintoul.

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