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Farmers in Lochaber are invited to attend the final monitor farm meeting at Strone Farm on 20th February to hear first-hand about the changes that have resulted in an increase in profitability and efficiency on the 1200-hectare livestock farm.

Run by Chris Cameron in partnership with his father Malcolm, the family run 520 North Country Cheviot Ewes and a herd of 50 breeding Limousin cows at their farm near the Great Glen, one of Scotland’s highest rainfall areas.

Chris and Malcolm signed up as a monitor farm in 2016 and throughout the three years, they have made a wide range of improvements to their farming business including changing their grassland management, how they finish their lambs, and their approach to reseeding. 

Chris Cameron said: “Our main aim at Strone has always been to maximise value of stock leaving the farm, and the best way to do this was to grow more grass. During the project we continued to move our ewes and lambs to summer in Inverness and took on a new tenancy locally, which lead to more summer grazing”

“This has resulted in year on year improvements, with lamb weaning percentage peaking at over 100% in 2019 for the first time. The extra grass has allowed us to increase the size of our pedigree Limousin herd by 20%”.

“The Monitor Farm project has allowed me to learn new techniques, find new grass seed mixes and discover different technologies to help drive the business forward” he added.

Attendees at the final meeting  will also have the chance to hear from Jamie Blackett author of “Red Rag to a Bull: Rural Life in an Urban Age” who will discuss setting a vision for the future.

Niall Campbell, Lochaber Monitor Farm Facilitator from SAC Consulting, said: “The Monitor Farm programme has brought the local farming community together and provided access to experts and knowledge that will prove useful in driving their farming businesses forward.

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in improving their farm business to attend the final meeting which will cover the highlights and lessons learned throughout the three-year project.”

The Lochaber Monitor Farm is one of nine monitor farms that have been established around Scotland in a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. The aim of the programme, which is funded by Scottish Government, is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

The meeting on Thursday 20 February will be held at Strone Farm near Banavie, Fort William PH33 7PB and will begin at 12.00 noon. Lunch will be provided. The meeting is expected to finish by 4.30pm. All are welcome and the event is free.

For further information and to book your place (and lunch) please contact SAC Consulting on 01631 563093 or frbsoban@sac.co.uk