The Presidential Team has been announced for The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) for 2023/24.
Serving for one year, the team is made up of representatives from one of the eight RHASS member regions across Scotland and they work to promote their region across the year.
Representing Stirling this year, the Presidential Team will oversee their own Presidential Initiative, which will culminate at the 2024 Royal Highland Show.
Robin Gray has been chosen as the RHASS President for this year. Mr Gray is a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He set up H&R Gray, a company specialising in agricultural transportation and over the last 30 years, it has grown to employ over 140 staff in the Stirling area. He was Chairman of Callander Young Farmers and is still heavily involved in the day to day running of the family farm.
He said: “It is a great honour and privilege for me and the Vice presidents, including our Honorary Chaplain, to represent the Stirling area and be part of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland for the forthcoming year. We look forward to delivering an initiative that will promote the Stirling area together with Scottish agriculture and enhance links with RHASS.”
Alistair Donaldson OBE (FRAgs), Maimie Paterson, Alastair Logan and James McLaren will serve as Vice Presidents. The Reverend Gary J. McIntyre is returning as Chaplain.
Alistair Donaldson OBE (FRAgs) brings a wealth of experience from the meat and agriculture industry. He spent 30 years at the Meat and Livestock Commission, latterly as Managing Director. Thereafter he was appointed Technical Director of the newly-formed QMS, and on retirement became Executive Manager of The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers. His roles have been many and varied – board member of QMS, Chairman of the Scottish Panel in CARAS, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Butchers and a Church of Scotland Elder.
Maimie Paterson is the main administrator in the family business, which bides at Auchenlay Farm near Dunblane. The farm consists of a very successful British Blue cattle herd which run alongside Charollais, Beltex and crossbred ewes. She has served two terms as Chair of the Beltex Sheep Society and two terms as their President. Presently, she is a council member of the British Blue cattle society and vice chair of NSA Scotland.
Alistair Logan has recently retired from auctioneering after 44 years with Caledonian Marts in Stirling. He was Chairman of Scotsheep in 2010 when it was held at the Graham’s family of Mains of Burnbank and was a 1-year Director of RHASS in 1993-94, as well as stewarding for several years at the RHS.
James Mclaren farms a 550-acre mixed beef and sheep unit at Murrayshall Farm, Cambusbarron, Stirling. He also has a thriving equine stabling business, which lies alongside an agritourism enterprise. James has also ventured into renewables, with solar, wind, and hydro power-sources all featuring on the farm. A lifetime member of RHASS, he was a Director of the Society for 14 years, rising to become chief steward of Main Ring and serving on the PR&E committee. He has served two years as Chairman of the Forth Valley Countryside Initiative and he has sat on the Stirling Show committee for 35 years.
Reverend Gary J. McIntyre was inducted in 1998 to St Ninians Old Parish Church, Stirling. He has a large contingent of the farming community in his parish and is very familiar with the challenges faced by farmers and has a high regard for the work they do and the invaluable contribution they make to society as a whole. Gary also served as Chaplain in 2006/7.
RHASS Chairman, Jim Warnock said: “The RHASS team is pleased to welcome our new Presidential Team for the 2023/24 session, who will act as ambassadors of the Stirling region and all it has to offer – as a Stirlingshire man myself, I know all too well the amazing farming heritage of this beautiful region.
“It will be exciting to see what the team has in store to exhibit the region, not only at the Royal Highland Show next year, but in the months leading up to the event. It will be important in shining a spotlight on both the Show and the Stirling area at large.”