MAUCHLINE’S Corrie Mains Farm has been named Poultry Farmer of the Year 2020.

The farm received its nomination last May after being put forward for the Farmer’s Weekly award by one of its suppliers.

Anne Smillie, who runs the farm with her husband Jim, said they couldn’t believe they had been nominated and it said was a huge achievement for them to win a national award.

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She said: “We’ve won awards in the past for Scotland, but winning an award for the whole of the UK is special.

“The other two contenders were really big companies so we thought being in the top three with them was an achievement in itself.

“All our friends were tuning in so as soon as it was announced we were getting calls from everywhere.

“This has been the biggest and best one. I think that’s because we genuinely didn’t expect to win.

Anne added: “There was only my husband, our son and myself in the house but we managed to make some noise between us when we won.

“We had to make up for the fact we couldn’t be with all our family and friends”

“There were lots of happy tears. It gives the staff a massive boost.

“What we do here is a team effort and it’s appreciated, especially over this last year, which has been horrible for everyone.”

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The only down side for the family was that they weren’t able to attend the usual venue for the yearly awards.

The ceremony was due to take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on October 1 last year, but the pandemic meant that couldn’t go ahead.

It was then postponed until March 17, but with no indication of restrictions lifting, it was decided last month that the awards would be broadcast via a live link.

Anne said: “It’s just a pity we didn’t get to go the awards in London.

“That would’ve been quite the night of celebration, but we made up for it as much as we could.”