PUBLIC nominations are being invited for this year's Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year title.

In previous years, the long-running award has only been open to automatic entry by farms using the milk-recording system. But for 2018, the directors of farm business event AgriScot have decided to bring the contest in line with the beef and sheep sector awards by getting the public involved in the selection process.

AgriScot chairman, Robert Neill, commented: “We are delighted that the Scottish Dairy Farm of the Year award will now be open for entry to every dairy farm in Scotland. This is a great opportunity to highlight dairy farms in Scotland with potentially award-winning stories to tell.

“Everyone now has the chance to nominate worthy dairy farms. I believe this is an exciting opportunity for advisors, suppliers and others in the industry to put forward their customers and clients, and of course dairy farmers are welcome to nominate their own farm – an award like this is a great way to give recognition for a hard-working team or family.”

AgriScot would particularly like to hear from and about dairy farms who may be doing something a bit different in terms of innovation, diversification or in their efforts to promote and sustain their business or the industry as a whole.

Convenor for the new format dairy award, Gilmour Lawrie, himself a dairy farmer from Ayrshire, a former Gold Cup finalist and long serving member of the AgriScot Board of Directors, commented: “AgriScot is now a major event in the farming calendar, with huge relevance to every sector in agriculture. Our beef, sheep and arable farm of the year awards have helped to further the overall ethos of AgriScot – to showcase and highlight innovation and best practice.

“Everyone involved in AgriScot is proud of how our previous dairy farm of the year award recipients have all lived up to this ethos. Our next step is to open the award up to other potential worthy winners out there, who can also provide a model of best practice but may have been overlooked in the past.”

Mr Lawrie said that, under the new format, there were many reasons why a dairy farm could be nominated for the title, whether that be an innovative diversification project, a first-class grassland management plan, or an outstanding team of staff: "I hope we will see examples of these, and many more reasons, as the nominations come in.

“I am delighted that Ice Robotics have again agreed to sponsor the award and that George Templeton of Knowe Farm and Robert Neill will be joining me on the assessment panel," he added. "We are all very excited about championing the Scottish Dairy industry.”

Nominations, from anyone – and entries from farmers themselves are welcome – via email to