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QMS Seeks Applications for Livestock Monitor Farm

by 5m Editor
20 October 2009, at 1:18pm

SCOTLAND, UK - Farmers in the North of Scotland are being given the opportunity to improve their farm’s performance by becoming the latest Monitor Farm.

A new livestock Monitor Farm for Caithness and Sutherland is being sought by Quality Meat Scotland. Interested farmers will 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 Pentland Hotel in Thurso on Tuesday, 27 October, 2.00pm.

“The main objectives of a 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, QMS Technical Projects Manager.

“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 Thurso meeting attendees will get the opportunity to hear what it’s like to be a Monitor Farmer directly from John Scott, of Fearn, who recently completed his three year tenure as the first Highland Monitor Farmer and from Derek Hanton of SAC, the project facilitator.

John will describe his experience of opening the farm to scrutiny and discussion by local farmers, and how he and his father, James, rose to the challenges set by Derek and their peers to improve their business performance and profitability.

This new project is supported by QMS and the Scottish Government’s Skills Development Scheme and, in a first for the Monitor Farm Programme, the new farm will also be backed by sponsorship from local businesses.

Tom Sayles of NFU Mutual, who organised the sponsorship by local businesses, said: “The success of the funding application for the Caithness and Sutherland Monitor Farm project has in no small part been due to the sponsorship offered for the project by local businesses.

“The commitment demonstrated local support for the project and will mean it has great buy - in from a wider cross-section of the agricultural community.”

The local businesses and QMS are contributing almost £24,000 over the three years of the Monitor Farm project with a further £60,000 funding coming from the Scottish Government.

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