The National Farmers Union Scotland's Centenary Trust has announced its final allocation round.

That last tranche of charitable cash was spread across Argyll, Angus, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Moray, North East and Ayrshire, putting more than £20,000 into projects focussed on one of the Trust's key objectives - the promotion of health and safety on farms and in rural areas.

More than £207,000 in total has now been awarded to charities and organisations for projects in every corner of Scotland.

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The funds were raised mainly through the generosity of NFU Scotland members, as well as a specially-bottled malt whisky, organised by the Banffshire branch, and a Centenary Book.

Established in the Union's centenary year in 2013, the objectives of the Trust were to encourage as many children as possible to learn more about where their food and drink comes from and to visit a farm in 2013 and 2014; to educate farmers, their employees and their children on health and safety in the countryside, with a special emphasis on children's safety; and to assist in bringing forward a meaningful apprentice programme that supports farmers and their employees.

In its final round, supported projects included £500 towards Lochgilphead Joint Campus, Argyll, for a visit to the Royal Highland Show; £1700 towards NFU Scotland's grid reference safety initiative in conjunction with Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance; £1200 towards Edzell Primary School's 'Health and Safety Gone Wild' project; and £1000 for Royal Highland Education Trust's promotion of on farm safety, including hi-visibility wear for children.

The largest award was £5000 to Banffshire Branch of NFU Scotland to fund educational activities this year. Banffshire Branch successfully collected £21,800 from the sale of the special Centenary Blend whisky, an effort whihc helped to significantly bolster the Trust's funds.

Trust treasurer George Lawrie commented: "A further 13 projects were awarded funding in this sixth and final round, primarily helping to promote health and safety in the agricultural industry across Scotland.

"Over the life of the Centenary Trust we have supported dozens of project and fulfilled the aims of the Trust throughout the last two years. This wouldn't have been possible without the support from all our members within our regions."

The conclusion of the final round leaves the Trust with £8000, and which will now be distributed equally to all NFUS regions to be donated, subject to approval by the Trust, to local charities of their choice.

Gordon Davidson

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