A YOUNG woman farmer’s passion for tending her livestock in the hills above Loch Lomond has won her a major award.

Caitlin Ross, 21, from Doune of Glendouglas Farm near Luss, is normally out in all weathers looking after her sheep and cattle

But last week she swapped the windswept hillsides for the prestigious Hilton Dunblane Hydro where her work was praised at a ceremony held by LANTRA, which awards qualifications in the land-based and environmental sector.

Caitlin, who won the HND-level Higher Education Award, said: “It’s a great honour and I am both surprised and delighted.

“It has been tough juggling family life with working on the family farm and college.

“Winning an award like this will give me the energy and determination to succeed in farming.

“I would like to thank my family and lecturers for their support.”

Caitlin, who trained at the Oatridge campus of Scotland’s Rural College in West Lothian, has already made a name for herself in farming.

She recently featured in the Scottish Government video ‘Women in Agriculture’ and met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Royal Highland Show.

She is a keen member of the Loch Lomond branch of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers and is now involved in the organisation’s Rural Agricultural Affairs Committee.

She said: “I am the fourth generation at this farm in Argyll. Our family have been a farming family for over 100 years. I am set to continue that tradition.

“They have taught me everything I know to date and showed me that hard work pays off.”

Caitlin said one of the most rewarding moments in the farming calendar is watching the last ewe and lambs walk out the lambing shed and last calves being born.

“The sense of accomplishment is immense,” she said, “after all the hard work from tupping time, through to feeding through the cold and wet winter months to the many hours spent in the “maternity ward” of the lambing shed, the late nights trying to get lambs to drink and the early mornings watching lambs playing.”

Caitlin said in the next few years she wants to continue working at home and is looking at developing her own part of the farm.

Find out more about the LANTRA Scotland awards at lantra.co.uk/scotland