21st January 2016

Free Workshops will Help Farmers Plan for the Future

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is funding a series of six Farm Business Planning workshops to be held across Scotland in February. The events will assist beef and sheep farmers to forward plan their businesses and face the challenges of reduced support payments and fluctuating beef and lamb prices.

The aim of the workshops, which are free to attend and open to all beef and sheep farmers, is to enhance the business planning skills of Scottish livestock producers to allow them to make better decisions on how to improve their farms’ performance and profitability.  They are an opportunity for farmers to set aside a bit of time to look at how they might mitigate the impact of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) reductions, boost margins and determine future farm policy.

The workshops will be delivered by SAC Consulting (part of SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College) and are aimed at providing farmers with the tools to analyse their businesses and the performance of their cattle and sheep enterprises. They will also identify areas where farmers can improve and undertake forward planning to help their business face future challenges.

There are just 12 spaces available on each workshop and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. All farmers are eligible to attend, other than those who have already attended a BIG group, Planning for Profit 2015 two day winter workshop.

The workshops will cover key elements of business planning such as how to review and understand farm accounts and assessing cattle and sheep enterprises. The events are designed to give those attending information on changes they can make to their businesses to ensure they are operating the best system for their farms’ resources. Financial planning will also be covered and participants will receive guidance on how to construct a business plan for their own farm.

These sessions will be practically based, participative and have a number of practical exercises. Those attending will also receive handouts, reference booklets and a business planning template that they can use to develop a plan for their own farm.

Wednesday 10 February – The Green Hotel, Kinross

Wednesday 10 February – Elphinstone Hotel, Biggar

Wednesday 17 February – Thainstone Centre, Inverurie

Thursday 18 February – Green Valley Golf Centre, Castle Kennedy, Stranraer

Wednesday 24 February – Jurys Inn, Inverness

Tuesday 1 March – The Lodge Hotel, Carfraemill, Lauder


Robert Gilchrist, Knowledge Transfer Specialist with QMS, urged beef and sheep farmers to register for one of these workshops.

“These practical workshops are a great opportunity for farmers to improve the profitability of their enterprises by drawing up a business plan for their individual farm,” said Mr Gilchrist.

Contact Fiona on fiona.smith@sac.co.uk or phone 01292 525035 to book a place for the meetings in Biggar, Castle Kennedy and Lauder and Grace on grace.watson@sac.co.uk or phone 01467 625385 to book a place on a workshop in Kinross, Inverurie or Inverness.

All meetings begin at 10am and finish around 4pm with lunch provided. For more information about these workshops click here 

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