Farming families around Scotland are being invited to put their names forward to be selected as Scotland’s next monitor farm hosts.

The new monitor farm programme is being launched at Briarlands farm, Blair Drummond, near Sterling on Monday January 28, and anyone interested in hosting one of the monitor farms, or being part of the community groups that attend monitor farms meetings, are encouraged to attend and find out more about what’s involved.

The launch will be begin at 3:00pm, and is expected to end around 6:00pm.

According to the programme’s regulations, the new monitor farms will be held in specific geographic locations – one in east-central Scotland, and another in the west.

However, those attending the meetings on these farms can come form anywhere in the Scotland.

The most recent monitor farms were managed and funded by Scottish Enterprise, and the economic development body has announced it will continue to support the programme when the new farms are selected, which should start hosting meetings in the early spring.

The last programme was very successful and supported significant growth and development, not only for the monitor farmers themselves, but also for many community group members who either developed new services, invested in facilities or set up a new agri-tourism business from scratch.

Scottish Enterprise will collaborate with the National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS) in encouraging farmers to consider taking part in farm tourism.

“Agri-tourism is already providing a valuable income stream to many farming and crofting family businesses across Scotland,” said Scott Walker, chief executive of NFUS.

“The sector plays a vital role in bringing consumers and farm-based businesses closer together, something which is essential for the future of our industry,” he added.

Further information on the launch event can be found here.