QMS announces first Clyde monitor farm
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has announced that a South Lanarkshire farm, run with minimal Single Farm Payment, will be the first-ever Clyde monitor farm.
Carstairs Mains farm, run by Andrew Baillie, was selected from a “strong line-up” of applicants to be the area’s first monitor farm. The monitor farm scheme is supported by QMS, National Farmer’s Union Scotland (NFUS) and the Scottish government’s Skills Development Scheme.
Baillie said he has been running the 650-acre farm with his wife for the last two years. Currently, the farm has 75 suckler cows, which go to Limousin and British Blue bulls. Blue cross heifers are kept as replacements and remaining heifers are sold as stores. Bull calves are kept entire and fattened for bull beef.
Baillie said he was “over the moon” the farm had been selected for the scheme. “I first heard about monitor farms when I was working in New Zealand 10 years ago and I was impressed with what I saw over there. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on how the programme has been developing in Scotland, so I was delighted when I heard about the opportunity to get involved in our area,” said Baillie.
QMS technical projects manager Ian MacDougall explained that the aim of the monitor farm was to improve the profit of the business involved. He said: “Peer review and knowledge exchange are hugely important to the process and, ultimately, we aim to see smarter farm businesses that have learnt from participating in the project.”
NFUS regional chairman Tom French said: “Andrew Baillie is a young farmer with tremendous enthusiasm for the monitor farm project who I’m sure will embrace the opportunity fully.”
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