An Easter Ross family-run firm took the top Scottish cheese award for the second time in three years at the annual British Cheese Festival at Chipping in 2002.

None of the family were there to see judges select the Strathdon Blue for one of the three sector gold awards and the territorial championship, because they didn't think they had a chance.

Ruaraidh Stone, of Highland Fine Cheeses, said: "We now have a consistent product and would love to do more work with Waitrose."

They are now producing about a tonne of the Strathdon Blue a month, equivalent to about £80,000 a year, but aims to double this to meet expected demand.

Mr Stone puts some of the success of the product down to the combination of Ayrshire and Friesian milk supplied by Claymore Creamery from farmers in Caithness.

n Animal welfare supporters launched a new offensive against the UK poultry sector in 2002; bombarding the public with grizzly descriptions of what they describe as the 'seven deadly evils' of chicken-meat production.

Compassion in World Farming ambushed the Labour party conference with a new publicity gimmick, "Bobby the broiler chicken". They claimed he was designed to educate the general public about what they claim are the deformities inherent in intesively reared poultry and the sores and injuries that result from deep litter and overcrowding.

n Eggs were to be sold in boxes of seven and each compartment in new containers to be labelled with a day of the week in a new egg marketing ploy.

The gimmick was designed to disband the old wives tale that of you should eat no more than three eggs per week, and the belief that eggs are binding.

n The 2002 British wheat and barley harvest was to be 21.4million tonnes, 17% above last year's level.

Growing conditions were more normal following the previous years extraordinary weather conditions.

There was also a 21% increase in winter barley output to 3.23million tonnes, but this increase was largely offset by lower spring barley production.

n A new report claimed that Scotland's stock of redundant farm buildings was a key national resource which could be used in the generation of new businesses and the drive to rekindle economic growth in rural areas.

For the owner of the buildings, successful conversion could enable them to cash in on an asset without affecting the running and viability of the existing farm business.

The report was issued by the College of Estate Management.

n More than 50 Spanish meat importers and wholesalers attended a British Lamb exporters' workshop, in Madrid in 1987.

The event was timed to coincide with the start of the most important season for British lamb exports to Spain, as from about August, through to December or January, the price of British lamb was very competitive.

n It was expected that a new young farmers club would be set up in Mull in 1987 - seven years after the last one closed from declining numbers.

The news came from a deputation of four which visited the island on behalf of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers' Clubs.

Jane Currie told The Scottish Farmer there was tremendous enthusiasm at the meeting and another meeting was planned for the next week.

She commented that there appeared to be more young people on the island than before.

n Six Lanarkshire MPs were set to meet county farmers leaders to discuss various points on Britain entering the Common Market.

However, Mr R Logan, East Shields, Carnwath didn't hold out much hope of this meeting taking place. He spoke of a recent meeting in Edinburgh when out of 71 MPs invited to discuss questions with union leaders only 11 turned up.

n A new prosperous lease of life for King Edward potatoes was on the cards with the announcement that in the autumn of 1962 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, virus-free King Edward potatoes would be harvested in commercial quantities with a total increased yield of about 10%.

n Household contributor Gretchen gave instructions on how to take breakfast in bed: "To take breakfast comfortably in bed, the tray should be as light as possible, and it should have some support on the knees.

A pillow, or, if that is too large, a small cushion, should be placed under the knees and raise them a little, otherwise the weight of the tray will tend to make it slip downwards. Another pillow placed under the bed clothes and against the feet, gives support to the limbs and enables them to bear the weight of the tray more comfortably.

"All the dishes for the tray should be small and thus avoid unnecassary weight."