THE WINNER of the prestigious AgriScot Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year award was announced at the farm business event today.

The accolade, which is sponsored by Cogent Breeding Ltd, has this year been awarded to K and I Millar and Sons, Trailflat, run by Keith and Irene Millar and sons Donald and David.

The official assessor Jimmy Goldie, a highly respected dairy management advisor and rumen technical manager with Carrs Billington, chose the winner after visiting the final four farms, which were shortlisted from every milk-recorded dairy farm in Scotland.

The award was judged according to a wide range of criteria, including calf rearing, sire selection, practical management techniques, feeding and nutrition programmes and the general well being and contentment of the cows.

Trailflat, at Lochmaben near Lockerbie was awarded the title based on a number of different factors, including the cleanliness and comfort of the herd, their outstanding calving index and the general health and footcare of the herd.

Runners up, in alphabetical order, were: A Colquhoun Ltd, Dendoldrum, Inverbervie, Kincardineshire; Wm. Hamilton & Son, Meldrum, Blairdrummond, Stirling; and the University of Edinburgh, Langhill Farm, Roslin, Midlothian.

Mr Goldie said: “All the top twenty farms were a huge credit to Scottish dairy farming, especially in these times of low milk prices, but the top four were absolutely outstanding in every aspect of their detailed management; from calf rearing, fertility, animal health and comfort to yields and length of life in the herd, and it was a very difficult task deciding the top award.

“Congratulations must go to the Millar family at Trailflat who are the winners of this year’s AgriScot Dairy Farm of the Year award. It’s a fantastic, family run farm where they pay huge attention to detail both in terms of technology and finance, and they thoroughly deserve the title.”

Winner Donald Millar said:“We are delighted to have won today and somewhat surprised! We’ve had a tough couple of years so this win is great for motivation. It’s too early to tell if anything about our business will change as a result of the win but we are all proud to have achieved the accolade.”

Selecting the winner, Mr Goldie’s findings highlighted a fantastic family run farm with huge attention to detail and control of all costs. Cows were clean, comfortable and very content with good % of EXs and VGs. Herd health and foot care were paramount and superb calf and young stock rearing gave first calving at 24 months of age.

The farm has an outstanding calving index of 374 days for their 210 Holsteins, great average yields with high butterfat and protein percentages and a high % in their fifth and later lactations, in addition to a very low somatic cell count of 86.