Major David Walter, of Balthayock Farms in Perthshire, has been awarded for his exceptional contribution to the world of Charolais cattle breeding.
The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland’s (RHASS) annual award recognises outstanding contribution to livestock breeding.
The Sir William Young Award also commemorates the service to the wider Scottish agricultural industry.
First venturing into the breed in the late 1960s, Major Walter served on the Charolais Council, becoming chairman in 1984 and president ten years after that.
Always focused on the bottom line of a balance sheet, the introduction of Breedplan into his herd let him put science ahead of fiction and rise to the top of the Charolais-breeding world.
Major Walter has topped the Stirling bull sales consistently, and one of his crowning achievements came when he sold nine bulls averaging over £15,000 each in 2018.
He has always been a supporter of agricultural shows, winning many championships throughout the country and showing at the Royal Highland Show since 1972, when he presented the Balthayock Trophy.
And to mark his 50th year in the breed, it was no more than he deserved when in 2019 he stormed to first place in the Individual Interbreed Beef title at the Royal Highland Show.
Always encouraging the next generation, he has been a supporter of the youth, holding many stock judging events, farm tours and welcoming international delegates from all over the world.
He continues to champion youth development, hosting the National Charolais Youth Finals this year – even donating an embryo egg from one of his top cows as a prize.
An emotional Major Walter on hearing of his win said: “It’s a great honour and very humbling to be awarded the Sir William Young Award from RHASS.
“The Charolais adventure has been a wonderful experience and I have met some fantastic people over the years through the Charolais family. This award really is quite something.”
Adding his congratulations, Bill Gray, RHASS chairman said: “For more than half a century, the name of Major Walter of the Balthayock Herd has been synonymous with pedigree Charolais cattle.
“He has contributed so much to the breed and sector at large over his years of hard work, so it’s only right that he be acknowledged in this way.
“As a society we are absolutely delighted to present Major Walter with The Sir William Young award for 2022.”