Skip To Content

Highly regarded Scottish sheep farmer presented with prestigious NSA award

20th January 2023

Scottish sheep farmer Ian Duncan Millar has been presented with the National Sheep Association (NSA) George Hedley Memorial Award for 2022 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the UK sheep industry.

Receiving the award amongst friends at colleagues at the NSA Scottish Region Annual Member’s Meeting (ARMM) held yesterday at the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm, Laurencekirk Ian expressed his honour at being named the latest recipient of the award.

He comments: “It is an enormous honour to be awarded the George Hedley Memorial Award. To think of all the folk who have been here before me is quite mind blowing. I have been very fortunate to have had a number of interesting ‘jobs’ through my career, and throughout that time I have always been in my 'day-job', a farmer, and sheep are a big part of what I do, so I suppose I have seen things through that prism, and if as a result I have helped our fantastic industry along the way, that has been an immeasurable bonus. Thank you.”

Ian is regarded by many as one of the most exemplary leaders within the UK sheep industry today. Through his support and early adoption of numerous programmes including

performance recording in hill sheep, early co-operative breeding schemes and through his role as a highly valued adviser to researchers developing breeding indexes for UK hill sheep he has been instrumental in the multifaceted progression of the sector.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments: “I’m delighted that the 2022 award has gone to Ian. There was some really stiff competition from a number of other nominees, all of which would have made worthy winners, but there was unanimous agreement that this year’s award should go to Ian for what is a lifetimes effective work to further Britain’s sheep industry and this is just what the award is there to recognise.”

As well as his work on farm Ian has also held many positions on industry boards and committees. He was an integral component of co-operation within the UK lamb sector as seen by his directorship of Highland Glen Producers Ltd (1979-) and director of copious industry bodies including Farm Assured Scotch Livestock (1989–97); Scottish Quality Beef and Lamb Association (SQBLA) (1997–2000), and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) (2000–2002). He was Chair of the UK Fallen Stock CIC from 2004-2012, providing strong and wise leadership in challenging circumstances.

In recognition of these many contributions to the sector Ian was made Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2010. He has had a very long and effective interest in sheep health research, development and practice, exemplified by his Chairmanship of the Moredun Foundation (2012-2020). Ian has provided vision and expertise whilst supporting collaboration with industry leaders, technical advisers and producers to ensure influence of factually accurate livestock science.