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Ten revered English chefs got some hands-on experience of Scotch Beef production during a visit to a family-run Perthshire beef and sheep farm.

The chefs, including Chris Galvin who runs three top London eateries with his brother and David Colcombe chef/owner of the acclaimed Opus restaurant in Birmingham, spent an afternoon with the McLaren family at Netherton, near Blackford.

The farm visit, along with a butchery demonstration from Aberfoyle-based butcher Jonathan Honeyman and John Webber of the Nick Nairn Cook School, was organised by Quality Meat Scotland.

A young Highland bull made an impressive spectacle pitch-side at Murrayfield stadium to launch a new sponsorship unveiled today between Scotch Beef and Scottish Rugby.

Led by Scotland players, Chris Paterson and Ross Ford, the two year old red bull made a debut bovine appearance at the home of Scottish Rugby ahead of Scotland’s next Six Nations clash with England at Twickenham on March 13th.

Duncan Macalister, the new Kintyre monitor farmer, flanked by facilitators
Linda McLean and Alan Boulton

A new monitor farm for Kintyre has been announced by Quality Meat Scotland with the first meeting set to take place on March 16th at 1pm.

Glenbarr Farms near Campbeltown, run by Duncan Macalister supported by two full time staff, has been revealed as the new monitor farm.

Following assurances from the Food Standards Agency on the use of recycled waste products on agricultural land accessible by ruminants, Quality Meat Scotland has announced a partial relaxation of the rules in the Cattle and Sheep Assurance Scheme.

A new Scotch Lamb campaign, developed by Quality Meat Scotland, is urging consumers to “Buy Local” when making their purchase decisions.

The adverts are based on striking new creative which tempts consumers with a tantalising dish of Scotch Lamb cutlets served with seasonal vegetables.

The four week campaign now underway features print advertising, including a cover wrap in The Times Food and Drink Supplement, as well as six sheet billboards at major retailers. The activity also includes on-line presence on key cooking and recipe websites.

Farmers interested in ensuring they get the welfare, economic and environmental benefits of woodland on their farm are invited to a free on-farm meeting in Ayrshire next week.

Quality Meat Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland are holding a Woodland and Livestock Focus Farm meeting in Ayrshire next week to look at how the economic benefits of woodlands can be maximised whilst maintaining stock numbers on livestock farms.

The current sheep market is offering opportunities to the best producers but farmers shouldn’t let improved prices lull them into complacency, according to Quality Meat Scotland.

Speaking at the NSA Scotland Annual Conference in Dunblane Hydro, Stuart Ashworth, Head of Economics Services, QMS gave an overview of a turbulent global market.

An extensive programme of woodland planting on Auchmacoy Estate near Ellon in Aberdeenshire has created valuable shelter for livestock and crops in an area of exposed flat land close to the North Sea.

The woodland planting programme at Auchmacoy Estate, one of the Livestock and Woodland Focus Farms established by Quality Meat Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland, has also opened up opportunities for timber production and sporting enterprise.

The estate also illustrates how farms can maximise the economic benefits of woodland whilst maintaining stock numbers.