Ambassador Award to Top UK Auctioneer

David Leggat accepts honour at Union annual dinner

A leading light in livestock auctioneering, David Leggat, has received the NFU Scotland Ambassador award at the Union’s AGM and annual dinner taking place in St Andrews today (Monday, 13 February) and tomorrow (Tuesday, 14 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.

David has been part of United Auctions since leaving school in 1975. He is one of the best-known and respected livestock auctioneers and judges in the country. In his role as Executive Chairman he continues to have management responsibility for the company's prestigious pedigree business. He takes the rostrum at a number of sales, including the world-renowned Perth Bull Sales as well as Europe's biggest annual sheep sale at Lairg. He has held various industry positions and in 2005 was awarded an MBE for his services to Scottish agriculture.

David collected the award in front of 450 guests attending the Union’s annual dinner in St Andrews on Monday, 14 February.

Announcing the award, NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said:

“For our industry, the network of auction marts not only serve our main livestock regions but reach out into the hills and islands and support a vital trade. In a world of electronic trading and dedicated supply chains, the auction ring still sets the price while providing a personal service to farmers big and small through access to a diversity of markets. 

“As David has shown, the impact of markets also goes far wider.   They are the shop window for Scottish livestock and often provide a bridge between the rural community and the general public.

“As well as servicing his customers through daily and weekly livestock sales, David Leggat is the auctioneer who is at the centre of re-establishing Scotland’s reputation as a source of leading livestock genetics through the continued success of the world-famous Perth Bull Sales. The ‘Perth sales’, now based at Stirling, are not just a sales event for Scottish pedigree cattle, but a focus for the cattle sector in the whole of the UK and Ireland.

“Those sales have provided the platform for David to host visitors from all over the world. Since the BSE export ban was lifted, David has worked tirelessly in fostering new links with Europe while preserving those with traditional trading partners in the Americas and Australasia.  And as a clear indication of Scotland’s growing reputation, he recently showcased our systems to a delegation from China.

“David has been part of a quiet revolution in how livestock producers approach breeding, pushing selection beyond simple genetics and looks to adding value through using performance recorded stock and defined health status. His vision and diplomacy has ensured Scotland and its cattlemen have used those tools and remained in the world premier league.

“His energy and enthusiasm for Scotland’s livestock sector has also has ensured that our key politicians both local and at national level are drawn into the farming community to enjoy real hospitality and share the challenges we face.

“On showgrounds around the country, he is one of the characters that injects enthusiasm and knowledge and his commentaries help enliven and educate the public in a charming manner.  David is one of our community’s gentlemen, a stalwart of his profession and a superb ambassador for Scottish farming.”

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 have the expertise and ability to work daily with their customers, deliver an excellent service and act as an ambassador for their sector.  Over many years, David Leggat has developed a fantastic rapport with livestock farmers the length and breadth of the UK and further afield, and has been a key part in Scotland's growing world-wide reputation as a source of quality livestock."  

Notes to Editors

  • 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.
  • A photograph of David Leggat receiving his award will be available from 10.00am on Tuesday, 14 February from or tel. 0131 472 4000


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 19/12

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