The Final of SAYFC Young Farmer of the Year took place on Saturday, November 11, at SRUC’s Oatridge Campus. The event saw a turnout of finalists, including Alistair Brunton (East Fife Jac), Andrew Frank (Udny YFC), Ewan Lambie (Strathearn JAC), Scott Limond (Ayr YFC), Ryan Luckhurst (InverRoss YFC), and David Smith (Crossroads YFC).

The finalists were first assessed on abilities, ingenuity, and field expertise in the morning’s contest. Year on year the tasks differ, leaving contestants unable to practice before competing. This year's tasks included Quad Bike Driving, Tractor Driving, Plough maintenance, Sheep condition/selection, breed identification, rewiring, and tool identification/repair.

The Scottish Farmer: YFOY Top Three - left to right - Andrew Frank, David Smith, Ewan LambieYFOY Top Three - left to right - Andrew Frank, David Smith, Ewan Lambie

Each finalist was also required to present a business plan, accounting towards 50% of the final score, to an expertise judging panel including members from Galbraith and Royal Bank of Scotland. Also including John Thomson, owner of Hilton of Beath farm, where the finalist’s proposed plans were based on.

That evening the winner of the Young Farmer of the Year award was announced at the SAYFC Five-Star Awards ceremony. Winning the Sir John Campbell [Glenrath Farms] Trophy and the Young Farmer of the Year 2023 was David Smith (Crossroads YFC). David explained his enthusiasm about winning the award; “Winning Young Farmer of the Year on Saturday is a main highlight in my time in Young Farmers, and an experience and feeling I’ll never forget! It’s one of the few competitions I’ve done that requires so much time, thought, and commitment. To complete 3 years of accounts and a supporting business plan, all before the practical challenges and interview on the day. It really challenges the way you think about a farming business, however, through support from Galbraith’s and Royal Bank of Scotland’s mentors it was all made possible. Overall, it was a worthwhile learning experience.”

The Scottish Farmer: YFOY FinalistsYFOY Finalists

Taking second place was Ewan Lambie (Strathearn JAC) and third place went to Andrew Frank (Udny JAC). Congratulations were made to those reaching all of those reaching the finals.

Following David's win he shall receive this year’s winning prizes which include £1000 provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland, a trip to the Oxford Farming Conference from RHASS, and the main prize being a Can-Am MY23 Outlander 450 T which was kindly donated by ATV Services.

ATV Services Scotland Ltd’s Director John Yuille appraised the competition; “ATV Services Scotland Ltd proudly supports the Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC) and their Young Farmer of the Year Competition. As one of the UK's largest retailers of off-road vehicles and part of the rural community, we recognise the crucial role young farmers play in shaping agriculture's future. Our donation of an ATV to the winner is a testament to our commitment to celebrating and empowering the dedication and innovation of these aspiring individuals. Congratulations to all the competitors not only in the final but at the group stages, and of course to our ultimate winner David. Here's to driving success with SAYFC and cultivating a resilient future in agriculture.”

SAYFC would like to thank, ATV Services, Galbraith, Royal Bank of Scotland, and all those who have helped in the running of this competition for their continued support and collaboration.