Over 10,000 visitors and 240 trade stands filled the exhibition halls at the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston last week (Wednesday 22 November) for the largest indoor winter farming event, AgriScot.
As one of the strongest events yet, and with a record number of entries for the various competition categories, Chairman Robert Neill said it had been a rewarding day all round:
“There was a huge buzz in the hall throughout the day, which is always an excellent sign, and a real cross section of exhibitors and visitors making connections. The event has evolved hugely since it first started, and it’s fantastic to now be offering farmers and agri professionals from all sectors this chance to access information and developments in the industry first-hand, from nutrition and technology to machinery and politics. This comes from the trade stands, the seminars and meeting up with each other. I’ve been blown away by the support for the event and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of those who came, exhibited, and the sponsors and event organisers who made it come together so professionally.”
A key event was the Q&A panel session hosted by NFU Scotland with Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon, which attracted a packed seminar room of 300 as well as 550 people tuning in online, to hear more on the recently announced flooding fund, wider policy approach and NFUS’ asks of Scottish Government.
AgriScot 2023 included several changes, including moving the event date to fit better with other big industry commitments and increasing the age of entry for the silage competition for the Young Farmer category.
Competition entries were up, in particular for the dairy class, which had a £25,000 headline prize, and the popular tri-category silage competition. A highlight for the event annals was Evening Hill Farm winning the SuperCow for the second year running, which has only happened once before in AgriScot’s history.
The show ring hosted the programme’s headliners including a beef demonstration to challenge farmers to consider if they are producing the right cattle for the right markets, the dairy judging and the SuperHeifer championships.
The Product Innovation was won this year by ADF Milking Ltd for its intelligent vent technology, InVent, which makes milking calmer, faster and higher yielding. Seeking out young talent in agribusiness, the Business Skills Award was won by Ian Carlisle, who works in the family beef and sheep farm in Dumfries, as well as supporting their abattoir and butchery business at Lockerbie.
The Best Stall presentation, sponsored by Fullwoodhead Dairy Supplies, was made to pedigree breeder James Wilson of Evening Holsteins.
Seminars throughout the day offered advisory insights from across the industry including how to get the most from agricultural co-ops (SAOS), low-cost green energy opportunities (Davidson &Robertson), reducing methane from livestock through nutrition (Norvite), and through improved animal health (Moredun), new smart technology from John Deere and sustainability in the malting barley chain (Simpsons Malt); and a question time event with the Scottish Dairy Hub and Kite Consultancy.
“Pre-registration for the event was up 100% with 4000 people securing their free, rapid access tickets in advance this year, and we had a waiting list for exhibitors, so we are already looking forward to building on this and getting plans underway for the next AgriScot in 2024,” added Mr Neill.
For a full list of award winners and results please see below.