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This week’s first meeting of the new Moray and Nairn monitor farm attracted a record attendance of around 130 farmers and representatives from the industry.

Cluny Farm, near Forres, is the latest monitor farm in the project and a landmark twenty-fifth in the history of the Scottish monitor farms programme, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, the Scottish Government and a record number of local industry sponsors with help from the NFUS.

Miss Scotland, Katharine Brown, thrilled strongman champions from around the globe yesterday when she spent the day in as chieftain of an International Highland Games hosted by London Scottish FC.

Katharine, who is also Miss UK, was at the event as an ambassador of Scotch Beef and joined throngs of supporters who gathered at Richmond which hosted the Highland Games in the Capital for the first time in more than three decades.

Scottish industry bodies speak ahead of World Environment Day

On the eve of World Environment Day (Saturday, 5 June), three of Scotland’s leading agricultural organisations – NFU Scotland, Quality Meat Scotland and SAOS – have issued a joint statement that maps out a route for the Scottish industry to tackle climate change.

A new guide designed for commercial sheep farmers who retain home-produced ewe lambs as breed replacements was launched by Quality Meat Scotland’s Scottish Sheep Strategy at Scotsheep today.

The “Guide To Breed Replacement Selection” – known as ELSA – is based on an easy-to-use system for home-produced lambs. While it does not replace the Signet breeding system for pedigree sheep it will help producers maximise the genetics in their flocks rather than relying on “eye” alone.

A new grassland management regime is on the cards for a farm in Caithness which is trialling new mixes to find out if the switch will translate into increased returns from its livestock enterprise.

Two new mixes, which will include high-yield red clover, are being used on a reseed at Westfield Farm, recently appointed as a QMS monitor farm, operating with support from Scottish Government and a number of local agricultural sponsors.

The challenges created by exceptionally cold weather this spring are becoming evident just one month into the new season lamb market, according to Stuart Ashworth, Head of Economics Services at Quality Meat Scotland.

Speaking at Scotsheep today (Wednesday, June 2 2010) Mr Ashworth said the smaller ewe flock meant there were fewer lambs to start with and slow grass growth has also hindered lamb growth rates.

Quality Meat Scotland’s Scottish Sheep Strategy launched the results of the fourth year of its “Benefits of Better Breeding in the Scottish Sheep Sector” project - better known as the Sheep Focus Farm project - today at Scotsheep.

Phase one of the project produced two consecutive years worth of data from the six Sheep Focus Farm businesses taking part in the project and showed that on average the use of a High Index recorded tup could bring cumulative gains averaging £10 per ewe both from the hill and lowland flocks.

Three Scottish pig farmers were treated to some VIP treatment when Miss Scotland, Katharine Brown, took them for a spin to celebrate the launch of a campaign for pork from farms inspected by the Scottish SPCA.

The new Quality Meat Scotland campaign highlights the high welfare standards of pigs on Scottish farms. Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector, Paul Anderson, also supported the launch of a fleet of “Specially Selected Pork Approved by Scottish SPCA” branded taxis. Thirty liveried taxis will be making their appearance over the next two months in Glasgow and Edinburgh.