Legacy Potential of Monitor Farms to be Highlighted in Shetland
Mr Scott farms at Fearn near Tain and was Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year in 2015. Fearn was a monitor farm from 2006-2009 and during that time the Scott family made significant changes to their farm business.
“It is now eight years since Fearn completed its three-year term as a Quality Meat Scotland Monitor Farm and something which has become very clear is the long-term ripple effect of what we learned from the process,” said Mr Scott.
“However, a key long-term benefit was the discipline we learned during the process in terms of basing our decisions on data and bench-marking our performance against others. That has ensured that every part of our business is now regularly scrutinised to quickly identify any areas of underperformance,” he said.
At the start of the programme the farm was carrying 1,000 ewes and 120 cows. Now the business has 5,500 ewes, 1,500 hoggs and 250 breeding cows.
Mr Scott believes the next few years will be challenging for livestock farmers and they will be forced to make changes to their businesses to improve efficiency and margins.
The Shetland Monitor Farm meeting starts at Bigton Hall at 11am when the host farmers, Kirsty and Aimee Budge from Bigton farm, will give an update on their activities since the last meeting.
The Shetland Monitor Farm is one of nine monitor farms that have been established across Scotland in a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, with funding from the Scottish Government. The aim of the programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.
To book your attendance (and lunch!) please contact the project facilitator Graham Fraser, SAC Consulting Lerwick on 01595 693520 by Monday 7 August, or email firstname.lastname@example.org