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John “overwhelmed” at agri award

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By Fiona Reid
John “overwhelmed” at agri award

A YOUNG farmer from Dumfries and Galloway has become the first ever recipient of the Fordyce Maxwell Award for Agricultural Communications.

John McCulloch, from Kirkcudbright, was presented with the trophy by SRUC Principal Professor Wayne Powell at the Royal Highland Show last week – above.

The 24-year-old won for his “dedication and focus in promoting Scottish agriculture through written and video communication”, particularly in his work to promote the sustainable credentials of the Scottish beef industry.

Trainee auctioneer John is a former student of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and graduated with an HND in agriculture in 2021. He is also a member of Stewartry Young Farmers and is chair of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers agri and rural affairs committee.

John said: “I am overwhelmed and honoured to be the first recipient of the Fordyce Maxwell Award.

“Communicating what we do as an industry has never been more important, especially with the rise of disinformation and the speed at which that disinformation can travel throughout the public domain.

“Fordyce was one of the best communicators that the agricultural industry has ever seen, and I am extremely proud to receive this award.

“I would like to recognise the many great communicators we have within our industry and urge everyone to continue to work together and share the facts about the important work we do as a sector.”

Prof Powell said: “Many congratulations to John on this excellent achievement. Fordyce Maxwell spent more than half a century reporting on and promoting the agricultural industry, so it was very fitting that we name our new award in his honour.”

Fordyce, who died in October, spent many years as agricultural and later rural affairs editor at The Scotsman.

In between two separate stints at the newspaper, Fordyce returned to full-time farming, when he also had regular columns in The Herald, The Sunday Post and The Journal and hosted his own segments on BBC radio and television. He was awarded an MBE for services to journalism and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Society of Newspaper Editors.

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