Sharing Best Practice Conference: Inspire, Inform, Innovate


QMS' "Sharing Best Practice" conference at Airth Castle on 12th February attracted some great speakers from across the industry and the 140 delegates who attended left with their heads crammed with ideas of how they could improve productivity and profitability on their farms.

There was a fabulous line up of industry experts, including farmers from across Scotland, who shared their thoughts about how farmers can maximise their efficiency and profitability. 

Justin McCarthy, Editor and Chief Executive of the Irish Farmers Journal, spoke about the potential to increase margins through better utilisation of resources inside the farm gate. 


Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year, John Scott from Fearn Farm near Tain, spoke about his aspirations for his sheep business. 


Another speaker was Louise Urquhart from Maryfield, Aboyne who highlighted her plans to maximise the grazing potential of her land to increase the kilograms of liveweight she can produce per hectare. Louise was joined by Michael Blanche from QMS who spoke about the benefits of pasture management.

Lambing Live 2014 host farmer Hamish Dykes from South Slipperfield, West Lothian, gave his thoughts about how farmers can embrace PR opportunities to help promote their business and the Scottish livestock industry and its brands. He was supported by Carol McLaren, Head of Communications at QMS.

Niall Jeffrey from Beilgrange, East Lothian, one of many farmers participating in the QMS ‘Focus on Figures’ project talked about the process he went through before making the decision to expand his herd. He was joined by Robert Gilchist from QMS who spoke about the importance of benchmarking.

Danny Miller, a cattle farmer from Caithness, spoke about his farm, its resources and current direction and focus and which areas he feels he should look at in light of CAP reform.


The above speakers were joined by Stuart Ashworth, QMS Head of Economics Services, who spoke about the importance of understanding the economic and technical performance of a livestock enterprise in hunting down profit. Jamie Robertson of Livestock Management Systems also spoke at this event and will highlighted the ways the pig sector has improved the efficiency, cost of the energy used and the quality of feed produced.

The event received some great feedback from the delegates who attended. Comments included;

“Very informative, wide range of experienced speakers covering a lot of relevant information”

“Reinvigorated me to continue improving technical performance of my unit”

“Inspire couldn't have been titled more appropriately”

“Very good, topical, inspirational and at the right time of year for us to act on things we heard”

“Great source of info. Thought provoking to drill into your own business”

“Fast moving and stimulating conference”

For those who were unable to attend, the programme, speaker information and links to the presentations which were given on the day can be found on the right hand side of this page.