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Borders 6th Monitor Farm Meeting
The next monitor farm meeting on Wednesday 22 November will have the theme of “Assessing Opportunities” and provide an opportunity for farmers attending to consider different options which could potentially improve their margins.
At the meeting, there will be a panel of speakers to discuss the pros, cons, regulations and practical issues connected with two of the options the Mitchells from Whitriggs Farm have been considering with support from their management team. These are converting to organic production and the potential of introducing deer farming to their business mix.
Debs Roberts, Policy Manager for the Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) which certifies 70% of organic farms in Scotland, will speak about the process and steps that farmers need to take in order to move towards organic conversion. She will also answer any questions farmers interested in exploring organic conversion for their own farm, may have.
Mrs Roberts will be joined by Andrew Grant, from Riddell Farms in Lilliesleaf, who has a mixed livestock and arable organic farm. Mr Grant, whose beef, sheep and arable enterprise was certified organic by the Soil Association in 2009, will share with the group his practical experiences of being an organic farmer.
The Mitchell family have also been researching the possibility of diversifying into deer farming and John Goffin, Farm Manager at Arniston Estate in Gorebridge, which has an established deer herd, will give a presentation on the practicalities of moving into deer farming, as well as a summary of the market potential and the future prospects for venison production in the UK.
For catering purposes, those interested in coming along on 22 November should confirm attendance with Stephen Young (details below)