WELL-KNOWN Moray farmer Robert MacDonald has been appointed President of the North Country Cheviot Sheep Society.
Robert took over the role from Welsh breeder Melfyn Williams at the society’s AGM on Saturday, November 12, and will serve a two year term in the top role.
He currently runs 570 Hill type North Country Cheviot ewes at Castle Grant Home Farm, near Granstown-on-Spey, which consists of heather and permanent pasture with in-bye arable crops.
Some 250 of the ewes are pure bred with the remainder being put to either a Bluefaced Leicester or Suffolk ram.
Robert has been involved with North Country Cheviots since the early 1980s, when his father and uncle, then farming on the Isle of Skye, changed to the breed for economic reasons.
So impressed with them was he that when he moved from Skye to where he farms now, in 1997, he brought the bloodline with him.
Robert said: “It was an economic decision to change. We were getting a better lambing percentage from the Northie and there was a higher value for the draft ewes.
“Northie ewes will do two to three more crops of lambs on kinder ground once they’d left the hill and that produced major economic benefits. I was impressed with them from the start and I’ve stuck with them ever since. They’re a great all round hill sheep.”
Robert becomes President after a two-year term as Vice President of the society and Michael Elliot, from Kelso, was elected as the new Vice President at the AGM.
Robert said his main focus in the role would be to continue to promote the breed to the best of his ability.
He said: “The role of the North Country Cheviot Sheep Society is to ensure the growth in popularity of the breed by highlighting the benefits to as many people as possible.”
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