LEADING CAITHNESS farmer and stockbreeder, William Oag, has died, aged 70.

William was born on June 5, 1945 and spent his early years at Lower Dounreay Farm and started his education at Reay School. The family then moved to Wick and William, at the age of 16, left school to take up a career in farming at Waterloo Farm, near Wick.

Six months later, on acquiring a driving licence, he was dispatched to the family's main unit at Brims Mains, near Thurso, where over the years he built up an extensive farming enterprise, purchasing several neighbouring properties, and founding what has become one of the biggest pedigree Limousin herds in the country, selling bulls for five figure sums (£14,000 on two occasions).

He also had considerable success with commercial cattle and was a regular winner at summer shows and prime stock shows. William had a good eye for stock and was in demand to judge both in Caithness and further afield, with the Orkney Islands being a particularly favoured venue.

In addition to his farming activities, William also ran an agricultural contracting business, which has grown to become the leading supplier of services to farmers in Caithness.

William was an astute business man, a most caring husband, father and grandfather, a very modest and private person, highly thought of by his friends and colleagues, and will be greatly missed.

He is succeeded by his wife Anne, their three sons, Derek, Gary, and Evan, their wives, Lesley and Karen, and his four grandchildren.