THE SALE of a Shetland ram for a record breaking £20,000 at the Lerwick mart at the weekend has been hailed as an advert for agriculture in general and the local breed in particular.
Aberdeen and northern marts auctioneer Ellis Mutch said he was astonished to witness seeing the animal change hands for an amount that was four times the previous record for a Shetland ram.
Crofter Brian Thomson, from Huxter, said he was delighted with the sale, adding that he was well aware he had a “really good looking ram all round”.
The shearling ram was first crowned overall champion before going on to make £20,000.
The price is a centre record and a record for any animal sold by auction in the Northern Isles.
Mutch said: “The previous record was matched last year at £4,600; last year we got that twice so this year we beat that three times with £20,000, then the second [at] £7,000 and there was another £5,400, with the overall average being £968 which is probably a record in itself as well”
The auctioneer said farmers and crofters were prepared to invest in quality that would give them a good return.
“The return on these Shetland rams has been very good in these last couple of years, and people maybe just thinking ‘if we spend a bit of money and get these quality rams, the return will follow’.
“I think that has been the ethos, and it stands in good stead.”
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