Hundreds of farmers in north-east Scotland turned out for a special charity event in memory of Guild member Joe Watson, who died in March, reports his successor on the Press & Journal farming desk, fellow Guild member Gemma Mackenzie.
Members of NFU Scotland’s Huntly-Insch branch organised the special stock judging and social evening at Auchincrieve Farm, Rothiemay and Joe’s family – mother Mirren and brothers Murdo and Fraser – presented the new Joe Watson Trophy for the competitor achieving the best stock judging score.
Union president Nigel Miller said the night, which is set to become an annual affair, had been organised to celebrate Joe’s life and remember “what a huge part of our lives he was”.
“This trophy is a really fitting memorial to Joe, who was everywhere and at the centre of our community,” Mr Miller said.
“He was a pretty famed journalist and I’ll always remember how hard he worked. Sometimes he stirred up politicians and sometimes he was pretty controversial; he was a really formidable guy. Joe was one of the larger-than-life characters in the north-east.”
The evening was attended by about 400 farmers, who took part in stock judging and a competition to guess the weight of a bull. There was also a raffle and special auction of the union’s centenary whisky.
About £4000 was raised for two charities close to Joe – The Sandpiper Trust, which provides medical equipment in remote and rural areas, and the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance. The sum includes a donation from the IFAJ.