Collaboration, sustainability and resilience will be the key themes at a one-off AgriScot seminar as the four-year Monitor Farm Programme approaches its final few months in Scotland.

There are nine monitor farms established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, with funding from the Scottish Government.

The seminar will discuss the results captured through innovative trials on the farms in a session chaired by Quality Meat Scotland chairman Kate Rowell.

The farms – spread from the Shetland Isles to the Scottish Borders – have been on an exhilarating journey of personal, business and community development, with notable successes seen over the last three and a half years.

The seminar will take place in the upper foyer at 10:00am on November 20.

The panel will include Lothians monitor farmers Peter Eccles (pictured top) and Bill Gray, alongside award-winning Nithsdale monitor farmer Andrew Marchant, and Dr. Fiona Kenyon from Moredun Research Institute, who has been involved with some of the trials as part of the project.

The panel will talk through their involvement in the project and the key learning points, covering the following key themes:

  • Collaboration: From utilising livestock to benefit soil health on arable farms, to collaboration with other livestock farmers to ensure flock and herd performance is optimised, what systems work to encourage and develop collaboration between farmers.
  • Sustainability: Making the best use of data to reduce anthelmintic and antibiotic use on-farm, to increasing kg/ha produced, and what solutions have been found to increase the long-term sustainability of our farms.
  • Resilience:  Succession, introducing new income streams and challenging yourself – what have our monitor farmers learned from understanding themselves better?

QMS chairman and former monitor farmer Kate Rowell said: “The Monitor Farm Programme has proved hugely beneficial for not just our host farmers, but the wider farming community as well.

This seminar will provide a fantastic insight into just some of the key trials that have been running, and the opportunities that have arisen from them that will hopefully encourage others to think about their business and the solutions that are available to develop a sustainable livestock industry.

“We encourage farmers to ask questions and drive discussion around the programme and the outcomes that we have seen for each of the farmers and their businesses from being part of this.”