Dynamic duo from Loch Lomond take NFU Scotland ambassador award
Article date:07 February 2017
News Article Number:24/17
NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual’s prestigious Ambassador Award has been presented to dynamic duo, Anne and Bobby Lennox. The couple, from Shantron Farm, near Luss on Loch Lomond-side were announced as winners of the trophy at NFU Scotland’s annual dinner, held in Glasgow last night (6 February).
Established in 2009, the Ambassador award was set up to recognise those individuals who, through their own efforts, have played an influential role in communicating the work, challenges and the value of Scottish food and farming to a wider audience.
The couple are worthy winners and well-known faces to TV audiences. They were one of the farming couples to star in the first series of the BBC’s award-winning ‘This Farming Life’ programme, which aired in spring 2016. Importantly, the award is also in recognition of the stalwart support that Anne and Bobby have given to hill farming, the young farmers’ movement, education and tourism over many years.
Bobby joined the family partnership in 1974. Shantron is a 5000-acre hill sheep farm carrying 1500 ewes and 30 suckler cows. After a 6-month Young Farmers Exchange to New Zealand in 1979, Bobby started performance recording the Blackface flock, and was one of the founder members of the Blackface Sire Reference Scheme. This pioneering move away from selecting Blackface sheep solely by looks but also recording performance and maternal traits of the stock has been a success and eight of the top 20 performance recorded Blackface sires are from Shantron.
An important part of the business is a thriving Bed and Breakfast business, where local produce and stunning views have brought rave reviews.
Bobby and Anne have been hugely generous in the amount of time they give to the younger generation. Bobby is now President of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC) – following in his late father’s footsteps.
The couple have also hosted thousands of schoolchildren on their farm, being ardent supporters of the Royal Highland Educational Trust (RHET), the body that aims to bring farming and the working countryside to life for young people
Bobby has also been a Branch and Area Chairman of NFU Scotland, and was a long-serving member representing hill farmers on the Union’s Less Favoured Areas committee. In addition, he is also a Regional Advisor for Moredun – the research organisation specialising in animal disease - and a board member of livestock co-operative Highland Glen.
The award was presented to Bobby at the Union’s annual dinner, in front of 500 guests and delegates.
SAYFC Chief Executive Penny Montgomerie said: “On behalf of all Scottish Young Farmers, we would like congratulate our President Bobby Lennox, and his wife Anne, on this well-deserved accolade.
“They are true ambassadors for the Scottish agricultural industry, passionately promoting food and farming both on and off farm and we are delighted to see them recognised this evening.”
Local RHET organiser, Sheila Bannerman added: “Their enthusiasm for food and farming is infectious and has a huge influence on schoolkids. Bobby was always involved with RHET Clyde, but he became a director of RHET Dumbarton, Lomond and Renfrewshire when it formed in 2007 and he, and Anne, are tireless supporters of our work in this area.
“Year in, year out, Bobby and Anne host numerous groups of pupils at Shantron – not just local schools but also from Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway – and Bobby regularly helps us out with classroom visits to schools in the area. He is a regular feature in the two-day food and farming event that we stage each year, entertaining and engaging with the hundreds of schoolchildren who attend.”
In terms of what a stay at the beautiful Loch Lomond-side farm might involve, a recent B and B guest review said: “The best reason for choosing Shantron Farm is Anne. She is a lively and informative conversationalist, great cook, and is willing to go out of her way to help her guests. Our breakfast conversations with her were delightful. All in all, Anne made Shantron Farm the highpoint of our Scottish adventure.”
In presenting the award, NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: “Within farming circles, Anne and Bobby are a well-known and well-loved double act who demonstrate that at the heart of every successful farming business is teamwork. And, thanks to This Farming Life, the public got to see that partnership in action.
“They are a couple who have given so much back to the industry that they love, that such an award is long overdue.” Ends
Notes to Editors
• The NFU Scotland/NFU Mutual Ambassador Award recognises those who have excelled at representing the nation’s agricultural and food industries. Past winners have included Ken Rundle, Dan Buglass (posthumous), Lady Claire MacDonald, David Leggat, John Cameron, Ian Duncan Millar, Joe Watson (posthumous) and Ewan Pate.
• Photographs of Bobby and Anne Lennox at Shantron Farm and Bobby collecting the Ambassador award at the Union’s annual dinner will be available from 10.00am on 7 February from email@example.com or call 07788 927675.
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