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    Orkney 'Farming For The Future' Project Goes From Strength To Strength
18/02/06

The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, rising costs of all farming inputs and the lack of positive price signals from the marketplace have all culminated in difficult times for farmers and crofters in Orkney over recent months. In order to look to the future, individual businesses are hungry for information with can help them decide upon the best way forward and how to best meet market demand.

For that reason, NFU Scotland and the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) joined forces early in 2005 to provide a forum for delivering key information. ‘Farming for the Future’ is a project that is aimed at delivering to Orkney farmers information on the topics that are of most interest to them when considering how best to move ahead post CAP Reform.

The final of the first stage of workshops, which was on Feeding for the Market Place, took place at Orkney Auction Mart and then at Orkney Meat and looked at the following issues:

  1. Selection of Cattle for Slaughter, Presentation of Cattle to Abattoir & Judging of Stock for Slaughter - Terry Coghill, Orkney Meat & Johnny Mackey, QMS

  2. Factors Affecting Physical & Financial Performance, Specifications for Different Markets, Factors Influencing Meat Eating Quality - Gavin Hill, SAC & Johnny Mackey, QMS

  3. Carcass Grading, Butchers View & Why Grades Matter - Mike Swanney, Orkney Meat
The ‘Farming for the Future’ project has been made possible thanks to funding from the European Social Fund, made available through SAC’s training budget and will deliver benefits to Orkney farmers at a critical time for the industry and region.

Stewart Wood, Regional Board Chairman for Orkney & Shetland, said:

“While some factors influencing the profitability of finishing cattle remain outside the individual farmers’ control, there are many management decisions taken on farm that can dramatically affect returns from finishing cattle.

“Today’s course, to which we attracted over 80 producers from all over Orkney, aimed to examine many of these factors and equip those attending with skills that will help improve the physical and financial performance of their own farms.

“The aim of the whole series of workshops is to highlight to producers how important it is to concentrate not on subsidies but on the marketplace and what consumers are looking for and I believe that we are successfully achieving that aim.

“I very much hope that we can expand this project to other areas of Scotland so that the whole Scottish farming community can be better equipped to move forward in this new era.”

link Further Success For Orkney 'Farming For The Future' Project
link Launch of New 'Farming for the Future' Project
link Voluntary Initiative Seminar - Keep Ahead Of The Game

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