Lanarkshire’s James Hamilton wins prestigious Young Farmer of the Year award!

Lanarkshire’s James Hamilton wins prestigious Young Farmer of the Year award!


Earlier in summer 2021, at SAYFC Young Farmer’s three Regional Rally days – members completed various tasks to qualify for the final of the 2021 Young Farmer of the Year competition where successful were (in order of photo left to right); Sarah Whitelaw [Avondale YFC], Alastair MacIver [Inver Ross YFC], James Hamilton [Avondale YFC], Craig Bell [Kinross JAC], Daniel Skinner [Garioch JAC] & Gregor Bousie [Bell Baxter ADS].

Measured on expertise, knowledge and entrepreneurship throughout the day – James Hamilton of Avondale YFC was crowned on Saturday evening, 2021’s winner, lifting The Sir John Campbell [Glenrath Farms] Trophy! In second place was Daniel Skinner of Garioch JAC and in third was Sarah Whitelaw of Avondale YFC.

All six Scottish Young Farmers undertook the final stages of a comprehensive assessment. Firstly at a farm arranged by Galbraith’s earlier in the autumn, from which they presented and were judged on a business plan including a mix of elements; market analysis, borrowing for investments, land management plan, livestock management plan, carbon farming, agri tourism and what professional advisors would be required.

Battling not only each other for victory, the competitors were also required to battle the tail end of storm Arwen in windy and rainy conditions at The Royal Highland Showground.
The huge variation of tasks alongside presenting their business plans to a panel on the day included; completing a quiz, sire selection, ATV driving, tractor driving and loader skills, setting up a yoke, chainsaw maintenance (and working), putting up an electric fence (whilst being timed) and sheep crutching.

There is something for everyone and all thanks to SAYFC’s incredible sponsors, it is one of the best supported competitions within SAYFC. A huge thank you to Royal Bank of Scotland, ATV Services Scotland Ltd, Galbraith, RHASS, Regatta, KiwiKit (Roxan), Bryson Tractors Ltd & FarmFit UK.

2021’s champion, James Hamilton was overwhelmed when sponsors ATV Services Scotland decided to up the winning prize of 12 months use of a quad bike, to a gift for life!
He commented:
“Winning the competition on Saturday night, after a day of intense competition, was an incredible feeling. I would like to encourage anyone with an interest to give the competition a go next year, as it isn’t as daunting as you may think. It is a great opportunity to push yourself, as well as test and expand your knowledge, with plenty people always on hand to help in the sections you feel less comfortable with!”

John Yuille of ATV Services Scotland Ltd highlighted:
“ATV Services Scotland Ltd have been involved with the “Scottish Young Farmer of The Year” since its very beginnings and have enjoyed watching it grow in to fantastic event that it has become today. We sincerely hope by extending our support beyond the previous “A new ATV for 12 months” to “A new ATV (Quad for Keeps)” for the winner, shall only encourage more participants to enter and give the competition the even higher profile that is truly deserves.”

Overall prize included: 

  • The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland – sponsored place at Oxford Farming Conference.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland – £1000.
  • ATV Services Ltd – use of ATV for life