Winner

William & Carole Ingram

Logie Durno Farm, Aberdeenshire

Sponsored by Morrisons


William and Carole Ingram and their family, sons Gregor and Bruce and daughter Amy, exemplify all that is good about the sheep industry.

They have chosen not to follow the crowd, but to mark themselves out as industry leaders by changing the image of their tup breeding business and with it the antequated image of the pedigree sector of the sheep industry.

In doing so they have placed the future of their sheep farming enterprise wholly in their own hands, with the business centred around a successful tup breeding enterprise which aims to cater for commercial farmers’ needs.

And it is this desire to have as much control of their business as possible that led the family to develop their own on-farm tup sale which offers performance recorded tups at fixed prices. It has been quick to catch on, with buyers returning year after year to source tups fit to go and work.

Flock management has taken a dramatic shift in recent years, with the pedigree flocks now largely lambed in April. Small, elite nucleus flocks are lambed earlier in the year; Charollais in December and Texels in February.

Recognising that the pedigree sheep sector can be detached from commercial reality, the family questioned the high input and labour costs. The resulting profit per acre they challenged themselves to produce purebred tups in a commercial system with minimal inputs.

But the Ingrams believe keeping small nucleus, elite early lambing flocks is crucial to the marketing strategy.

These are used as a marketing tool for the main part of the business. Showing at local and national shows is an excellent shop window and gives them valuable contact with commercial producers.

The Ingrams have also developed a Lleyn flock to allow output to be increased further without the need for extra labour. An easier care commercial flock has been established and now the family is also developing a hybrid crossing sire.

William also runs a successful pregancy scanning business, which has given William contact with commercial producers to help focus the ram breeding programme on their needs.

Technology has been at the heart of changes and the family are committed to using performance recording as a tool to improve their flocks.

The move to later lambing and desire to reduce feed costs has helped focus the family’s attention on improved grassland management, with leys rotated every four to five years.


FARM FACTS

• 208ha grassland farm, 87ha owned, 121ha rented

• 1500 ewes

• Four pedigree flocks

• All family labour


WHY THEY WON

• Unique approach to ram breeding

• Maximising use of technology through AI, ET and performance recording

• Good marketeers

• Customer focused


JUDGE’S VIEW

phillipsWEBWilliam and Carole are an inspiration whose hard work and commitment know no bounds. they demonstrate the best of the industry’s future

Kate Phillips




SPONSOR’S VIEW

louise-welshWilliam and Carole Ingram’s approach to sheep farming is exactly what the industry is all about. Innovation coupled with sound stockmanship mark them out as exceptional producers.

Louise Welsh




RUNNERS-UP

rossiter• David Rossiter

• Burton Farm, Devon

David is one of a unique band of sheep farmers not bound by tradition and willing to explore novel breeds and management techniques to maximise flock profits



dixon• David & Sally Dixon

• Hartley Castle, Cumbria

David and Sally Dixon have looked outside of the conventional options when it comes to marketing their stock. Their innovation in exploring new markets is an example to all