By Alan Hutcheon, director of Aberdeen Northern Marts Group and on the general council of IAAS

It goes without saying that this year’s Royal Highland Show at Ingliston was a wonderful showcase of the very best of Scotland’s rural life. RHS is without doubt one of the biggest most vibrant events on the farming calendar, and with thousands of prime livestock on show, a stark reminder of the important role the livestock marts play in pushing standards up.

I was therefore delighted to play my part in bringing together IAAS’s younger members with a drinks reception to launch the Institute’s junior council in the showground on Thursday evening. Thank you to United Auctions for hosting us and for all those who attended to support this important new initiative for the Institute.

The junior council is a key development in helping IAAS engage our younger members to become more involved with the Institute and over time, take on roles which are crucial to the running of the organisation. The junior council will operate independently but will nominate one person every year who will sit on our national council.

This is an exciting move for IAAS and part of a number of measures to interact more effectively with all our members. Young auctioneers create their own social groups and networks during their college years but once they start out in the industry it can be harder to keep these going.

However, they bring a sense of renewal and an enthusiasm for change when they join our auctioneer teams across the country. With a perpetual sense of change in the way stock is offered for sale, including new initiatives to make auctions more engaging through social media and video, we can all see how this new generation of auctioneers will bring huge value to their member firms and to the industry as a whole.

The junior council will facilitate the sharing of best practise and encouragement, bringing members together more often and ensuring the Institute as a whole is relevant to the next generation. As part of this we have also launched a brand new Facebook page which will help us communicate more effectively. You can find and like our page by searching for @IAAScotland on Facebook.