Collaboration, sustainability and resilience will be the key themes at a one-off AgriScot seminar as the four-year Monitor Farm Programme approaches its final few months.
Results realised through innovative trials across nine of the monitor farms over the last three and a half years will be covered in a seminar chaired by Quality Meat Scotland Chair Kate Rowell, who will also highlight some of wider aspects of the programme.
The project – covering from the Shetland Isles to the Scottish Borders - have been on an exhilarating journey of personal, business and community development, with notable successes seen over the last three and a half years.
At the seminar, held in the upper foyer at 10am on 20th November, there will be a range of speakers covering different aspects of the Monitor Farm Scotland Project. The panel will include Lothians Monitor Farmers Peter Eccles and Bill Gray alongside Nithsdale Monitor Farmer Andrew Marchant, recent winner of The Farmers Guardian New Entrant Farmer of The Year award and Dr Fiona Kenyon from Moredun Research Institute who has been involved with some of the trials as part of the project.
The panel will talk through their involvement in the project and the key learning points. In particular they will cover the following key themes which have emerged:
- Collaboration: From utilising livestock to benefit soil health on arable farms, to collaboration with other livestock farmers to ensure flock and herd performance is optimised, what systems work to encourage and develop collaboration between farmers.
- Sustainability: Making the best use of data to reduce anthelmintic and antibiotic use on farm, to increasing kilograms produced per hectare and what solutions have been found to increase the long-term sustainability of our farms.
- Resilience: Succession, introducing new income streams and challenging yourself, what have our monitor farmers learned from understanding themselves better?
Kate Rowell, Chair of QMS and a previous monitor farmer, commented: “The Monitor Farm Programme has proved hugely beneficial for not just our host farmers, but the wider farming community as well. This seminar will provide farmers and other members of the farming industry the chance to hear first-hand from those who have been directly involved in the programme for the last three-and-a-half years.
“It will provide a fantastic insight into just some of the key trials that have been running, and the opportunities that have arisen from them that will hopefully encourage others to think about their business and the solutions that are available to develop a sustainable livestock industry.
“The seminar is open to all, and we would encourage farmers to ask questions and drive discussion around the programme and the outcomes that we have seen for each of the farmers and their businesses from being part of this.”
There are nine monitor farms established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with funding from the Scottish Government. The aim of the monitor farm programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.
For more information about the monitor farm programme visit www.monitorfarms.co.uk.