Strathspey Monitor Farm

Auchernack is an 800ac farm in Strathspey. The family have farmed here since 1946. Today, it is run by Malcolm Smith. He farms alongside his sons Calum, who is employed full-time, and Hamish, who works part-time.  Sammie, Malcolm’s wife is also a partner in the business and she runs a successful self-catering business.

Malcolm has 150 suckler cows and 135 store calves. The focus is on store calf production using predominantly Limousin sires. A Shorthorn bull was used for the first time in 2023. For ease of management, cattle are overwintered indoors. Calving is split with a third of the herd calving in autumn/winter and the remainder in spring.

  • About the Farm

    The business needs to reduce costs for the suckler enterprise. Malcolm has recently started monitoring cattle weights and breeding performance to improve efficiency within the herd. He has returned to the Shorthorn, a native type that can utilise the rougher ground, is quieter and more easy-care. He feels that the farm is too highly mechanised and is spending high levels of capital replacing machines.  

    The self-catering, agritourism part of their business is profitable. They would like to develop that and explore other diversification options.  

    With three sons, two of whom are keen on farming, Malcolm’s main aim is succession planning, to hand on a viable business which has a long-term future. 

  • Malcolm Smith


    “It’s been a good year since we started as the Strathspey Monitor Farm.”

    “It is too easy to get stuck in a bubble,” explains Malcolm. “There’s real value in meeting other farmers and agricultural experts, discussing problems and solutions.  It’s not just good for business but for our mental health too. 

    “I’ve done benchmarking before and we seem to be doing ok, but you can always do better.”  


Meeting Reports

  • December 2022 Meeting Report

    Tight Calving is Key at this Family Farm & First Impressions

  • June 2023 Meeting Report

    Taking Stock at Auchernack at the Summer Open Meet

  • Nutrition Planning Report Autumn 2023

    In Summer 2023, Karen Stewart, SAC Ruminant Nutritionist compiled a Specialist Advice Report on nutrition for Malcolm Smith’s autumn and spring calving herds and on calf growth rates.  The suggestion is that improvements in nutritional management could help enhance the farm’s overall cattle herd performance. 

  • Ventilation Report February 2024

    The Smiths are aware of the expertise in livestock ventilation of Jamie Robertson, LMS design, and invited him to Congash Farm to assess the steading and make recommendations with the help of the Monitor Farm Management Group.



No presentation.

Latest Videos
  • Angus Monitor Farm
  • Mill of Inverarity Farm, Angus (Summer 2019)
  • Angus Monitor Farm final summary