24th July 2014

Cairngorms Monitor Farm to Host Open Evening

Cairngorms Monitor Farm is hosting an open evening at Lost Farm, Candacraig Steadings, Strathdon on Wednesday 30 July at 6.30pm.

Lost Farm, which is run by George and Fiona Gordon and their son Charles, lies within the Cairngorms National Park and is one of the network of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) monitor farms throughout Scotland.

Lost is a traditional upland farm which runs around 80 suckler cows and 800 breeding ewes. The Gordons are renowned for selling quality heifers with calves at foot. They purchase around 80 bulling heifers a year, bull them and then sell them with calves at foot. All the cattle are screened for BVD and Johne’s and are well sought after in the market place.

The business has changed in size over the three-year programme due to losing an area of ground the Gordons had under an SLDT. The Gordons currently have around 262ha on a secure tenancy and an additional 120ha of seasonal grazing.

Over the past three years the farm has hosted regular meetings and presentations targeted at improving farm efficiency and profitability. Each meeting has attracted high turn-outs as others seek to benefit from new ideas and suggestions.

Fellow farmers and industry representatives are invited to come along to the open evening which will start with an address from Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment whose presentation will include CAP reform and the Referendum. A question and answer session will follow.

Other speakers include QMS Chairman Jim McLaren who will update the group on the Beef 2020 strategy, Colin Slessor from ANM Group who will discuss lamb marketing strategies and Bill Petrie from Origin Fertilisers (UK) Limited who will talk about grassland aeration and management.

Attendees will then have the opportunity to go on a farm tour where updates will be given on the topics which have been focal point throughout the three years - grassland/soil fertility, cow fertility, calf pneumonia, Liver Fluke and forage crops.

Vale of Alford Young Farmers will also be holding a stock-judging competition in aid of club funds and the evening will close with a spit roast and refreshments.

Alister Laing, one of the monitor farm’s facilitators said: “It has been a pleasure to be involved in the monitor farm project and to work with the Gordons and the community group.

“There has been a fantastic exchange of knowledge from everyone who has attended meetings over the last three years and I know that this will have certainly benefitted many farm businesses in the area and beyond.”

To attend the open evening, please contact SAC Consulting Elgin on 01343 548787.

For further information on monitor farms and detailed reports of meetings visit www.qmscotland.co.uk/monitor-farms

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