One of NFU Scotland’s highest accolades has this year been awarded to Newton Stewart dairy farmer and long-serving NFU Scotland member, Rory Christie.
Rory farms at Dourie, Port William alongside his brother Gregor, running a 200-sow pig business, and an 1100-cow dairy enterprise. He has held various positions at NFU Scotland over the past 13 years, including Wigtown Branch Chair and Vice-Chair, Dumfries & Galloway Regional Chair, NFU Scotland’s Board, and also on the Union’s Pigs Committee.
Since 2011, Rory has been a key member of NFU Scotland Milk Committee during which time he has helped drive forward its work to secure fairer dairy contracts for all, working collaboratively with the other UK farming Unions and ensuring the best outcomes for Scottish dairy farmers. It is particularly for his service to the dairy sector and role played in the milk contract negotiations that he has been awarded the 2024 Miskelly award.
NFU Scotland’s President, Martin Kennedy, announced Rory Christie as the recipient of the prestigious Miskelly award at the Union’s annual dinner in Glasgow (Thursday 8 February).
The Miskelly Award was established in memory of John Miskelly, an inspirational staff member with the Union and was presented by John’s family following his death in 2006. Now being presented for the sixteenth time, the trophy recognises those who have shown outstanding dedication and commitment to NFU Scotland and Scottish farming and crofting.
Commenting on Rory’s success, Sally Williams, Vice-Chair of NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee said: “I’ve worked alongside Rory on NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee for a number of years and recently been working closely with him in getting a Statutory Instrument on milk contracts in place.
“The uneven playing field facing farmers when it comes to dairy contracts is an issue that has existed for decades resulting in many coming out of the sector all together. Recent figures suggest that Scotland’s herd numbers have declined again while those that remain have increased cow numbers slightly. This highlights the uphill struggle smaller producers continue to face.
“That said, progress is being made and we now have real momentum with the proposed Statutory Instruments identified for milk contracts. This is a big win for NFU Scotland and, while it has taken years of hard work by many within the Union to get us where we are with fairer contracts for all, Rory has proved invaluable throughout this process.
“His vast knowledge of the dairy sector and its complexities has strengthened our negotiating power as we have worked collaboratively with the other UK farming Unions to iron out the fine details. He is a pioneer and determined to deliver the very best for the Scottish dairy sector as possible.
“I applaud the passion and commitment Rory has brought to the table and to all that he has done so far for the NFU Scotland Milk Committee and at branch and regional level too. I congratulate him on being a worthy recipient of the 2024 Miskelly Award.”
Notes to Editors
• The Miskelly Award trophy is inscribed as follows: “This award is presented in recognition of those who have shown, through outstanding dedication and achievement, their commitment to NFU Scotland and Scottish farming.”
• Previous winners include Michael Coutts, David Smith, Jo Durno, Bert Leitch, Henry Murdoch, Colin Manson, George Murray, Liz Murdoch, Elaine Robertson, Lachlan MacLean, Jake Sayles, Sandy Murray, Gill Johnstone, Jim Innes (posthumously) and Robert Thompson.