Nearly 50 farmers and professionals from the rural community attended
the launch of the most recently established Monitor Farm project
in the Lothian and Border region; Woodhead Farm, near Gifford,
Farm Group tour Woodhead Farm
The launch event on 20 November included a tour of the
farm, conducted by Monitor Farmer, Hugh Broad.
The Lothian & Borders Arable Monitor Farm project at
Woodhead is being undertaken in conjunction with HGCA,
Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise and will be
in two parts:
- Firstly the Monitor Farm, which is typical of the
area, will provide a focus for a Community Group of local
farmers who will become more involved in the decision
three Arable Business Groups, which will be formed within
the Lothian and Border areas, will discuss and adapt
the findings of the Monitor Farm to their own circumstances.
The Community Group will not only have a membership comprised
of farmers, but will involve members from the wider community,
and will set objectives such as improving profitability,
adopting best practice, taking a whole farm business approach,
discussing items of common concern, measuring performance,
benchmarking (Monitor Farm and group results) and small
scale trials & demonstrations. It is believed that
through the setting of such objectives will lead to better
decisions, a positive attitude to change, and faster adoption
of proven ideas.
Jenny Batchelor, HGCA, said, “The aim is to improve
the viability and efficiency of farms in the area by promoting
best practice and encouraging the uptake of new ideas as
well as tried and trusted farming techniques”.
The Monitor Farm concept was originally introduced by
Iain Riddell, SAC Select Services, with Woodhead joining
a network of 15 established Monitor Farms across Scotland.
"Today, we want to form the Farm Community Group,
and get to know the farm and farmer, as well as creating
achievable objectives for future meetings”
The massive fluctuations in the grain price this year,
and the difficulty in actually realising the highest prices
meant the group were keen to discuss how best to market
their crop for the coming year. This subject will form
the basis of the next meeting to be held at Woodhead on
Wednesday 16th January.
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