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Monitor Farm Programme events will showcase farm business improvements and forward planning

17/05/2024

Nine on-farm events designed to spark discussion and peer-to-peer learning on future proofing farming businesses, financially, practically, and environmentally, will take place across Scotland this summer.

The meetings have been arranged by the Monitor Farm Scotland team for farmers and crofters to meet and to hear a combination of both farmers and expert speakers discuss a range of farm business and environmental improvement subjects, with alongside practical demonstrations.

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The free to attend meets will take place on each of the nine Monitor Farms and will be followed by local food and refreshments. The first meeting is being held at the Strathspey Monitor Farm at Grantown on Spey (Monday 3 June from 5pm), with the subject of future proofing your business. Hosts, the Smith family will explain how they are planning for the future of the business with the next generation of farmers in their family in mind.

Visitors will hear about digestate use, Abbie McGillivray from ScotEID Livestock Traceability will be covering herd performance management software, NatureScot will discuss natural habitat enhancement, and the Smith family will share their new heifer selection policy. RSABI running a fund-raising competition to guess the combined prices of new, second hand and vintage tractors, as well as a toy tractor, which will be on display thanks to Netherton Tractors. (To find out more about the Strathspey Monitor Farm event click here).

In Banff and Buchan (Friday 7 June), farmers and crofters are invited to join mixed farmer Bruce Irvine, near Fraserburgh. John Gilliland OBE will be exploring the opportunities for mixed enterprise farms in Scotland to tackle the Net Zero Challenge. Visitors will meet at Aberdour Parish Hall at 2pm before heading to the farm to hear from various speakers about woodland options, carbon capture, sheep management and soil analysis. (To find out more about the Banff and Buchan Monitor Farm event click here).

At the East Lothian Monitor farm run by the McNicols (Tuesday 11 June from 3.30pm), Dr Kenneth Loade will be delving into the future of farming and carbon, and Agreena and UNDO who will be considering soil management options and carbon capture. Farmstrong Scotland will be joining for an interactive session on wellbeing and the meet will conclude with a BBQ. (To find out more about the East Lothian Monitor Farm event click here).

Sustainable livestock production is the topic of the day at the Duncan’s Stirlingshire Monitor Farm (Wednesday 12 June from 3pm) with keynote speaker farmer and Aberdeen Angus Society CEO Robert Gilchrist providing advice on maximising profitability of the suckler cow. The Moredun Research Institute will be giving practical demonstrations on faecal egg counting for those interested in understanding more about anthelmintic use in cattle and sheep, and Senior SAC Consultant Alex Pirie will be discussing nature enhancement and biodiversity auditing. (To find out more about the Stirlingshire Monitor Farm event click here).

The final June event is at the South Ayrshire Monitor Farm run by the Andrew family on Wednesday 26 June, and will focus on on-farm improvements.

Dates for the diary for upcoming July on-farm Monitor Farm meetings:

16 July – Deeside Monitor Farm – Forage and finishing.

18 July – Roxburgh Monitor Farm – Business resilience.

25 July – Argyllshire Monitor Farm – Lamb selection, forage utilisation, finishing.

30 July – Dumfries Monitor Farm – Incremental change leading to improved efficiency.

All these events are free to attend, farmers and crofters are welcomed to discover more about the work being achieved on these Monitor Farms, and the subjects being covered at each meeting. It is asked that visitors pre-book their place, wear appropriate clean clothing and footwear, car share where possible and use a clean vehicle for biosecurity reasons. No dogs are allowed at these events and pre-booking is essential.

If you would like more information or to book a place at one of these events, please see www.monitorfarms.co.uk/farms

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