Scottish Land & Estates Member Gives Tenancy to Award Winning SAC Graduate
The tenancy of 2,340 acre hill farm has been given to a 21 year old award winning agricultural graduate. Ian Christie, from Alford in Aberdeenshire, fought off 15 other applicants for the tenancy of Ballaterach Farm, initially on a five-year Short Limited Duration Tenancy, on the Inchmarnoch Estate near Ballater. Mr Christie, who has recently graduated from the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) has spent four years building up a breeding flock and last year won the Agriscot 2010 Business Skills Award organised by the SAC for which he had to produce a detailed farming business plan.
Ralph Peters, estate factor and a partner in Strutt & Parker’s Banchory office, said: “We had 15 good applications but Ian’s was very strong and the landlord was keen to give a young farmer an opportunity. Ian comes from a farming background, came across very well in interviews and his business plan, while ambitious, is plausible. The owners were struck by his enthusiasm and, subject to conditions, were delighted to award him the lease and give him this brilliant opportunity.”
Clare Carson, the owner of Inchmarnoch Estate, said: “I was pleased to receive as much interest as I did in the farm tenancy and am thrilled to have received such a strong application from Ian. He is a very enthusiastic young farmer and I am delighted to be able to give him the opportunity to develop a farm business and wish him every success with it.”
Mr Christie commented, “I am very grateful to Mrs Carson for giving Rachel and me this fantastic opportunity. I hope that the example set by me will encourage other ambitious young farmers and persuade them that it is possible to get a start in farming through the tenanted sector.”