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Farmers in Moray and Nairn are being given the opportunity to improve their farm’s performance by becoming the latest Monitor Farm.

A new livestock monitor farm in the area is being sought by Quality Meat Scotland, NFU Scotland and the Scottish Government. Interested farmers have an opportunity to hear more about what is involved and the benefits of having a Monitor Farm in the area at an open meeting at the Golf View Hotel in Nairn starting at 7.30pm on Thursday 11th February.

“The main objectives of the Monitor Farm are to bring local farmers and the agricultural industry together to focus on farm business improvements, efficient production and better profits from livestock enterprises,” said Peter Beattie, Technical Projects Manager at QMS.

"A livestock monitor farm is a three-year commitment for a farmer, supported by a facilitator, and a community group of engaged, local farmers.

“The farmer works with the facilitator to study the financial and performance figures of the business and find out what the long-term aims of the farm are. Some of this information is then shared and discussed at Monitor Farm meetings, held every two months or so.”

At the meeting attendees will get the opportunity to hear what it’s like to be part of the project, with a Monitor Farmer talking at the meeting about how he opened his farm up to scrutiny and discussion by local farmers and rose to the challenges set by their peers to improve his business’s performance and profitability.

Monitor Farm Facilitator Peter Cook, will give his perspective on the role of a facilitator based on his experience at both the Buchan and Cairngorms Monitor Farms.

The new project is supported by QMS, NFUS and the Scottish Government and has also gained £5,000 a year of local sponsorship.

The project is looking for a specific farm, which typifies local conditions, but also:

  • • The farm system should be typical of livestock farms in Moray and Nairn
  • • The farmer must be an assured member of the QMS Cattle and Sheep Scheme
  • • The farmer should be willing to open the books of the business to the facilitator who will explore key business data at Monitor Farm meetings.
  • • The farmer should be keen to discuss their hopes and aspirations for their dairy business with a group of neighbouring farmers.
  • • Farming must be the full time profession of at least one of the family members

Commitment

  • A Monitor Farm is a three year commitment
  • There will be up to six farm visits per year
  • There will usually be one open farm day per year.
  • The farmer will have a summary of discussions from the group and the lessons learned publicised nationally as part of the Monitor Farm Programme.
  • The farm, where tenanted, needs to have the support from Landlord for the project

Dealing with visitors

  • There should be at least one spokesperson for the farm
  • Facilities should be sufficient to cater for up to 70 visitors; e.g. car parking, covered area.

Invite to nominate a farm to be the new Moray and Nairn Monitor Farm

  • Anyone can nominate a farm to be the new Monitor Farm by going to the QMS website and filling in a nomination form with the farm name and address and some contact details, a brief farm description and why you’re nominating this farm.

Invite to tender for Facilitators for the Moray and Nairn Monitor Farm

  • Rural professionals who are interested in becoming involved in facilitating the new monitor farm are also invited to find out more about what is involved. An invitation to tender for the facilitation of the new farm is now on the QMS website.

Further information about what is involved can be found on the QMS website at www.qmscotland.co.uk. The closing date for applications to tender to facilitate the project is 5.00pm on Friday 19th February and nominations for the new Moray and Nairn Monitor Farm close on 26th February.