A new award aiming to crown the 'Diversified Farm of the Year' has been launched by AgriScot.

Thanks to support from SAC Consulting, part of SRUC and long-term Agri Scot partner' Royal Bank of Scotland, the new award will complete the prestigious stable of AgriScot farm of the year titles awarded each year at the farm business event.

Recently appointed AgriScot Director, Ian Brydson, will act as convenor for the new award and commented: "Our AgriScot farms of the year awards cover arable and all three of the principal livestock enterprises found on Scottish farms. We looked closely at what was missing from this line-up and realised that an award for the Diversified Farm of the Year would be the natural next step.”

“This award will be open to any farming businesses in Scotland able to demonstrate excellence in a diversified, farm based, enterprise. This is a broad canvas and we hope to see nominations and entries from farms with a wide variety of diversifications, from tourism to renewable energy to retail and everything in between.”

“As with our Arable, Beef, Dairy and Sheep awards we are looking for people and businesses who can showcase best practice, innovative thinking and inspirational activity to other farmers. I am delighted to welcome SAC Consulting on board as supporters and facilitators of the award and we are hugely grateful to Royal Bank of Scotland for their sponsorship,” he added.

Ceri Ritchie, head of food and drink at SAC Consulting, echoed Mr Brydson’s enthusiasm: “This new AgriScot award is a perfect fit for us at SAC Consulting and we are excited to be involved. Across our network we have expertise in all aspects of rural business and contact with many well-respected diversified farms so we are very aware of the talent within the sector which this new award will celebrate.

“Our initial call is to anyone in the wide rural community, professional advisors, neighbours, customers, to come forward with nominations for this award. Do you know of a diversified farm which has a great story, worthy of recognition? Then please let us know," she said.

"We want to cast the net wide, from farm shops, to shepherd’s huts, livery yards to hydro schemes – if the business is a potential ambassador for farming, then it could be the 2021 AgriScot Diversified Farm of the Year.”

Roddy McLean, director of agriculture at RBS, added: “Scottish agriculture has experienced some of the most testing periods in its history, but these challenges have brought into sharp focus the crucial role that AgriScot plays in bringing the industry together.

“The recent challenges have also shown how important diversification can be in keeping a farming business healthy. As a bank that is committed to the sector here in Scotland, we are delighted to sponsor the new Diversified Farm of the Year award for 2021.

"This is an opportunity to showcase the talent that our industry has to offer and will hopefully inspire others to consider what they might do in the future,” he said.