QMS seeks new monitor farms

Quaity Meat Scotland (QMS) is searching for two livestock farms in the Peeblesshire and Dumfries catchment areas to join its Scotland Monitor Farm Programme.

The Peeblesshire monitor farm will be a mixed livestock farm and will host a project to improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of livestock producers, principally within the Peeblesshire area, through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice and the discussion of up-to-date issues.

The Dumfries monitor farm will be a beef finishing farm, and will work closely with two Scottish abattoirs, A K Stoddart and Highland Meats, to highlight best practices that are relevant to a wide range of beef finishing units across the country. The collaboration will be a first for the Scotland Monitor Farm Programme.

Operations director of A K Stoddart and QMS board member John Craig commented: “The monitor farm process has proven successful over a number of years now on various livestock enterprises.

“The Dumfries project, with its envisaged market focus, will still retain the on-farm advantages and is a welcome next-stage development in fostering a whole-chain approach to efficient production of quality meat.“

To qualify for selection, the monitor farms need to be members of the QMS Farm Assurance Cattle and Sheep Scheme and at least one member of the family needs to be a full-time farmer.

QMS is also seeking to recruit local, rural professionals who would be interested in co-ordinating the new projects. The appointed facilitator will work with the monitor farms to show how the use of accurate baseline and benchmarking information can help to improve the profitability of the monitor farm and other farm businesses in the area.

QMS head of industry development Andy McGowan explained: “The monitor farmer works with the facilitator to share the financial and performance figures of their business and the subsequent debate within the community draws out the best ideas from the groups – it’s a great way of learning from other people’s experiences, good and bad.

“The main objectives of the two projects are to bring local farmers and the agricultural industry together to focus on farm business improvements, efficient production and better returns from livestock enterprises.”
For more information visit www.monitorfarms.co.uk

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