An Admirable Crichtonian

Published Tuesday, 5th December 2017 in Alumni and Friends news

Pictured: James Coupland, centre, receives his RHASS Certificate for Long Service from Crichton Farm Manager Hugh McClymont, left, and Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of Scotland’s Rural College.

A farm worker who has spent more than 30 years at Crichton Royal Dairy has been hailed as “exemplifying the commitment of SRUC staff”.

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of Scotland’s Rural College, was in Dumfries to present James Coupland with a long-service medal and certificate from the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS).

Born and bred in Dumfries and growing up a stone’s throw from the award-winning research farm, James began work at Crichton as a 17-year-old ‘barn boy’ in February 1987.

An ex-pupil of Dumfries High School and former day release student at Barony College (now part of SRUC), James admits he has “never had a dull day” during his three decades at Crichton.

A particularly eventful day occurred when he was the farm’s waste manager and a burst pipe resulted in a neighbouring house – including the washing line – being showered in slurry.

James recalled: “The owner was okay about it, but he was worried because he was going to play golf in half an hour and his golf clothes were out on the washing line!”

“An amazing team”

Now a calf and young stock rearer, James was named North region winner and national runner-up in the Youngstock Producer of the Year category at the 2017 Farming in Excellence Awards.

James said: “I’ve seen a lot of changes here over the years, mostly in terms of the advent of new machinery, but I’m extremely proud to be part of an amazing team at Crichton and I can honestly say there’s never been a dull day!”

Hugh McClymont, Farm Manager at Crichton, said: “James has been a tremendously loyal servant to Crichton over the last 30 years and it’s fitting that we recognise his long service in the same week that our work here has helped SRUC win a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize. I’d like to express my personal thanks to James and wish him many more years of service at Crichton.”

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