Winners of All-Expenses Paid Trip to Oxford Farming Conference Announced

Young farmers from Pitlochry and Crieff win NFUS competition

The winners of an all-expenses paid trip to the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) have been announced by NFU Scotland today (Friday 26 October).

This Union launched the competition in June and was open to all members, with a high calibre of entries submitted this year.

At NFU Scotland’s Autumn Conference, held at Birnam Arts Centre, Pitlochry’s Helen Stewart, and Crawford McLaren of Crieff were announced as the winners. The duo will have their travel, accommodation and conference ticket paid for by NFU Scotland and will attend the conference with Policy Manager Jenny Brunton.

In return, the NFU Scotland will ask is that the winners write a short piece for the Union’s membership magazine the Scottish Farming Leader on their experience of the conference in addition to other promotional work. This will include attending and speaking regional meetings, informing other members of their experiences.

Helen farms at Knockbarry Farm outside Pitlochry. When not working with the sheep she can be found working at Badvo Gin, her newly-opened gin distillery. Helen has a keen interest in politics and has previously published two articles on the common agricultural policy. Helen was last month announced as the winner of the NFU Mutual and Scotland Food and Drink Inspirational Young Person Award.

Crawford farms at home at Dargill Farm, a mixed arable and beef family run farm. Crawford is extremely passionate about Dargill Simmentals, their pedigree Simmental herd, and also finishes 300 bulls a year. Crawford is passionate about for striving for efficiency and quality products across all three sectors of the business. He believes farmers need to promote the benefits of their management of the countryside.

The OFC is a three-day event that kickstarts the year for the farming industry and starts on January 2, 2019. The conference brings together over 600 people with a range of speakers that will challenge many first-hand politics sessions. The theme for the 2019 conference is World of Opportunity.

To enter the competition, members were asked to write a short letter or a create a video, outlining where and how they farm, or would like to farm, and what this opportunity would mean for them.

NFU Scotland Vice President Martin Kennedy commented: “Crawford and Helen’s entries stood out from the rest as they had a clear passion for the industry and what they do, and we felt they could gain a lot from attending the OFC.

“It was fantastic to see such a number of high calibre applicants and it gives me great confidence for the future of Scottish agriculture. It is great to have these strong voices speaking on behalf of NFU Scotland at the OFC and I have every confidence that Crawford and Helen will champion Scottish agriculture for the future.”

Notes to Editors

  • A photograph of Helen and Crawford with Vice President Martin Kennedy is available by emailing


Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Author: Ruth McClean

Date Published:

News Article No.: 150/18

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About The Author

Ruth McClean

Having worked in the communications and journalism industry for the last 11 years, NFU Scotland’s Communications Manager Ruth McClean understands the needs of journalists and has extensive knowledge of the wider agricultural industry. After growing up in Argyll and Bute and working in the area as a reporter for local newspapers for eight years, Ruth joined NFU Scotland in 2013 in her current role. She is also Editor of the Union’s membership magazine the Scottish Farming Leader.

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