Ambassador Award to Scottish Farming Stalwart

John Cameron CBE accepts honour at Union annual dinner

A true stalwart of the Scottish farming industry, John Cameron has received the NFU Scotland Ambassador award at the Union’s Centenary AGM and annual dinner taking place in St Andrews today (Monday, 11 February) and tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 February).

Established by the Union in 2009 and supported by NFU Mutual, 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 farming and food to a wider audience.

John, a Union President from 1979 to 1984, was hugely influential in ensuring Scotland’s livestock sector was represented at home and in Europe and has been a tireless supporter of Scottish beef and sheep production.

John collected the award in front of 510 guests attending the Union’s Centenary dinner in St Andrews on Monday, 11 February.

Announcing the award, NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said:

“There can be few greater servants to Scotland’s crucial beef and sheep sectors than John Cameron and his tireless support and endless enthusiasm for the Scottish industry is unrivalled.

“As a former President, a leader of our hill farming and livestock committees and the first ever chairman of Europe’s sheepmeat committee, John not only put NFU Scotland on the European map but gave Scottish livestock a voice in Brussels – the legacy of which continues to this day.  He is a figure whose reputation in Europe still opens doors.

“Backed by his wonderful wife Margaret, and a fantastic and enthusiastic staff, he has selflessly opened up his farms up to the Scottish industry.  Those events not only show the performance, standards and care he takes in his farming business but also have regularly provided the backdrop for technical innovation and best practice and rolling that out to fellow farmers.

“His openness and vision for the future has always been readily shared with the next generation, and his valuable experience in establishing the Cameron Scholarship Trust helped shape NFU Scotland’s own Centenary Trust.

“John Cameron’s influence on farming continues to have an remarkable reach – from Balbuthie in Fife, to the corridors of power in Brussels and on to Malawi.  He has helped an extraordinary number of people in his life and, in our Centenary year, I can think of no more fitting recipient of our Ambassador award than John.”

Making the award, NFU Mutual Group Chairman Richard Percy said:

"With more than a hundred years experience working with farmers, we appreciate the tremendous value of those who act as an ambassador for their sector.  Over many years, John Cameron has represented Scottish livestock farmers and has been a huge influence in maintaining Scotland’s reputation as a source of the finest beef and lamb."

Notes to Editors

  • John Cameron has represented Scottish agriculture, particularly the livestock sector in many different parts of the world. He has held the posts of Chairman of the NFU Scotland Hill Farming Committee; Chairman of the Union’s Livestock Committee and NFU Scotland’s first long term President in 1979, at the age of 39. It was during his tenure as Chairman that NFUS was able to take an active role in CAP affairs. He was a member of the Agricultural Presidium in Brussels for five years and was appointed the first Chairman of the EEC Sheepmeat Committee. He was also appointed Chairman of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers representing and negotiating on behalf of livestock producers around the world.

  • In 1980 John Cameron was awarded the George Headley Annual Award for the person who had contributed the most to the UK sheep industry and in 1986, the Sir William Young Award for an outstanding contribution to animal breeding ins Scotland. He has held positions with both Quality Meat Scotland and the Scottish Beef Cattle Association. He is President of the National Sheep Association Scotland and was Honorary President of the Moredun Foundation in 2008.

  • Outside agriculture, John has served for six years as the Scottish member on the main board of British Rail, he is currently Railway Advisor to the Stagecoach Group plc and was recently appointed as Director of the largest private railway company - South West Trains.

  • His home and base for his farming operations is in East Fife, where until recently, he farmed arable, grassland and hill units in partnership with his wife Margaret. He continues to farm in East Fife running 250 suckler cows and a pedigree herd of Herefords. His farming practice is based on simple, low cost extensive systems of production with particular emphasis on welfare and animal health. His other interests are flying and shooting.

  • The inaugural winner of the NFU Scotland Ambassador award, first made in 2009, was former BBC broadcaster Ken Rundle. Ken is currently Senior Communications Officer at SAC. In 2010, the award was given posthumously to the journalist and broadcaster Dan Buglass, Rural Affairs Editor of The Scotsman.  In 2011, prominent cook, hotelier and writer Lady Claire Macdonald collected the award.   Well known livestock auctioneer David Leggat was the winner in 2012

  • A photograph of John Cameron receiving his award will be available from 10.00am on Tuesday, 12 February from or tel. 0131 472 4000


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 19/13

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