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Two policemen savoured a well-earned dram on Monday after a six-day epic challenge which included swimming the entire 107 miles of the River Spey.

Edinburgh-based police constable Dougie Bulmer, originally from Newtonmore in Speyside, completed the swim of Scotland’s second longest river – equivalent to swimming the Channel five times!

He was accompanied in the challenge by colleagues from Lothian and Borders Police, Craig Robertson from Edinburgh and David Murray from Aberdour, who cycled and ran the length of the river.

The benefits of the monitor farm programme may extend much further than previously thought, delegates at a workshop run by Quality Meat Scotland heard this week.

Farmers from all over Scotland who are involved in the monitor farm programme, along with the facilitators who support the project, gathered to pool ideas on making the most of the programme in the future.

The potential for the programme to nurture the rural leaders of the future was one area under discussion and a project to investigate this is underway, lead by Julian Pace of Scottish Enterprise.

Pupils at a Dumfriesshire school found their school dinners had some extra sparkle today (Monday, May 24th) when Katharine Brown, Miss Scotland, served them lunch.

Katharine was happy to don a dinner lady uniform to serve pupils at Moffat Academy a choice of Scotch Beef meatballs or Scotch Lamb burgers with salad and coleslaw as part of a healthy eating campaign she is working on with Quality Meat Scotland.

A trio of policemen are set to draw on every ounce of their physical and mental stamina next week when they embark on a unique Speyside challenge, including swimming the 107 mile length of the River Spey.

The three were in Speyside - home of top quality Scotch Beef and Scotch Whisky - this week to complete the final phase of their arduous training programme before undertaking the challenge next week when they hope to raise £5000 target for charity.

A breakthrough new technique to tackle sheep scab (psoroptic mange) could be on the cards as a result of a Quality Meat Scotland study unveiled this week.

The project was highlighted during a briefing to launch the 2010 Research and Development Report published by QMS which contains information about many of the 47 projects and studentships which the Scottish red meat promotion and development body funds. The report is available to view on line at www.qmscotland.co.uk or by calling 0131 472 4040.

The early results of a research project looking at techniques to add value to our meat production system look promising, it was revealed at the launch of Quality Meat Scotland’s Research and Development Report 2010.

The project is being carried out by Cameron Craigie, the first PhD student solely funded by QMS, and harnesses scientific expertise in both New Zealand and Scotland as part of a new research collaboration between QMS, SAC, AgResearch (New Zealand Crown Research Institute) and Massey University in New Zealand.

Skills Development Scotland, along with partners in the private sector and Quality Meat Scotland, will invest £59,000 in a pilot project to address the skills gaps in the food and drink sector in Scotland.

The food and drink industry is a major contributor to Scotland’s economy, generating over £9.5billion per year.

Research has shown there is a gap in relation to supervisory and management skills for individuals working within the sector.

Specially Selected Pork is set to return to Scottish TV screens over the next two weeks with its sponsorship of a series of healthy living programmes.

The programmes feature Alan Clyne, champion squash player and Olympic swimmer Hannah Miley talking about the importance of a healthy balanced diet, and the difference it makes to their training.

The one minute slots will be shown on STV before the programmes at 5, 6, and 6.30pm Monday to Friday, before the programmes showing 10.30 Wednesday and Thursday and 4.00 and 5.00 on Sunday.

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