STUART FERGUSSON of Carrs Billington has been presented with the JM Rome Award for 'exceptional service' to the farming community in Dumfriesshire.

The award was created in memory of JM Rome of Kirkbog Farm, Thornhill, and was first presented in 1993, and has since been awarded annually at Dumfries Show.

Mr Fergusson, who has been working as a sales representative in the Nithsdale Valley, Lockerbie and Dumfries areas for 42 years, said: “It is a great honour for me to get this award, especially as JM Rome was one of my first customers and I am still supplying some Carrs Billington feed to Kirkbog Farm today. I could not have received this award without the support I have enjoyed from all my farming customers throughout my working life and I would like to thank everyone concerned with this year’s nomination.”

Stuart left school at 17 years old and started work with James Wyllie and Sons (Grain Merchants) Ltd as an office junior. He developed an interest in selling and took a short course in Agriculture at the Barony College. His first farm visits were as holiday cover for other sales staff in summer 1976, and in 1977, Stuart was appointed sales representative for the Nithsdale Valley. Following company takeovers and retirements, his area expanded to include farms in the Lockerbie area. Stuart joined Carrs Billington Agriculture in 2003 .

The company's commercial manager, Ian Oliver, said: “We are incredibly proud of Stuart’s achievement in being presented with this award and it has been a great honour to work with him over the years. Stuart’s attention to detail and professionalism stands out in everything he does."