Andrew and Aileen Marchant run Clonhie Farm, a 300-hectare upland farm in the south of Scotland. Before the couple took over the tenancy of Clonhie in March 2012, Andrew was the manager of a dairy and beef unit in Castle Douglas. The aim, however, was always to run their own farm business.
The Marchants originally leased the 93 hectare Clonhie farm from Buccleuch Estates in 2012. Over the past four years they have taken on more land from Buccleuch, including a neighbouring 134-hectare farm.
The stock numbers on Clonhie have increased significantly since the Marchants took over and the farm now has 900 breeding ewes and 230 ewe lambs and the couple hope to reach their target of 1,200 ewes by 2020.
They have also established a small herd of eight Luing cows and plan to build the herd up to about 40 in order to sell females and store cattle in the future.
The Marchants are ready to embrace any change that the community group may suggest in order to improve the farm’s bottom line.
“So far we have focused on building the business and the number of sheep in particular. Now we need to focus on improving the technical efficiency of the whole farm business, so becoming monitor farmers is perfect timing for us. We also hope many more farmers will share the benefits of what we learn along the way,” said Andrew.
To view the latest meeting reports and information about the Nithsdale Monitor Farm visit the dedicated Monitor Farm Scotland website or contact Judith Hutchison, one of the Nithsdale facilitators, on 07718 919055 / Judith.firstname.lastname@example.org