FARMERS in the North-East of Scotland are gearing up for the sixth annual charity event in memory of the popular agricultural journalist Joe Watson.

Joe died suddenly in March 2014, cutting short his influential career as award-winning agricultural editor of the Press and Journal newspaper. Every year since, in recognition of his work, NFU Scotland’s North-East region has held an annual charity stockjudging and social evening, with each local branch taking a turn to play host.

This year's event will be held on Banffshire branch members Stewart and Hazel Stronach’s Berryleys Farm, Grange, Keith, which they run with their son, Stewart, and daughter-in-law, Fiona.

The event will kick off at 6pm on Friday June 7, with an entry fee of £5 per person (under 12's get in for free), and all money raised will go towards this year’s chosen charities RSABI and Macmillan Cancer Care.

Like past events, the evening will be a celebration of Joe's life and work, with a special trophy in his name for the overall winner of the stockjudging competition to mark the occasion. Members of the Watson family will be on hand for the presentations.

There will be a host of other opportunity for attendees to win prizes, with games including a ‘guess the weight’ competition which is being very kindly sponsored by Arnold Clark Toyota.

Refreshments are being supplied by Norvite, while steaks will be being supplied by ABP to be cooked by Bob and Kathleen Hay, all of which will be served after the stockjudging.

North-East regional chairman, Davie Winton said: “We are delighted that the Stronach family are hosting our annual Joe Watson Testimonial Stockjudging and Social evening this year. The level of support and sponsorship this event generates every year shows how highly Joe was regarded. It is always a pleasure to meet up with Joe’s mother, Mirren, and Joe’s brothers Murdo and Fraser and their respective partners and families.

“There will be something for everyone – stockjudging, raffles, auctions and great food and drink – so we hope NFUS members and young farmers clubs will turn out and support our event and help raise monies for our chosen charities, RSABI and Macmillan Cancer Care.”

To assist with catering, anyone planning to attend is asked to contact 0131 472 4000. More details can be gleaned from regional manager Lorna Paterson on 07786 860453