Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), in conjunction with Cairngorms National Park Authority, is offering sheep producers the opportunity to attend a free open day on Wednesday 18 September at Balliefirth Farm, Grantown on Spey.The open day will focus on hoof and the hook as a means of ensuring a viable red meat industry. Producers will be able to network with other farmers, take a look at the overall supply chain and discuss areas that could help their business for the year ahead. Kathy Peebles, QMS Livestock Development Manager, said: “Now is the perfect time for store producers and lamb finishers to examine their businesses and identify where money can potentially be saved.“This open day is an ideal opportunity for store producers to have an insight in to what the supply chain requires and perhaps identify new markets for the stock they produce. For lamb finishers, this is very much an interactive day and a chance for them to hone their lamb grading skills before the bulk of lambs go to the abattoir.” Topics covered at the event will include how to grade lambs for the different market requirements, how EID tags can help producers have a handle on their flock’s performance and, how new innovative technologies can help reduce on-farm costs.
The afternoon session will focus on how the difference in specification of finished lambs can make an impact to a producer’s return, followed by a butchery demonstration looking at the best way to maximise value from a lamb carcase. Bruce McConachie, Land Management Adviser with the Cairngorms National Park said: “Sheep have been found in the Cairngorms National Park for hundreds of years and the area produces some of the best extensive hill sheep flocks in the country. “At a time when markets are unpredictable and margins seem to be getting tighter, it makes sense to look at your business to ensure that it is as efficient as it can be. “Working with QMS helps us provide an opportunity for our farmers to do just that, as well as a chance to explore new ways to manage and improve their flocks and help them to carry on the fantastic work they do in maintaining the countryside, communities and the local economy.”The open day starts at 10.30am and finishes at 3.30pm and as there is a free lunch on offer farmers should book their place by contacting Kirsty at QMS on 0131 472 4040 or e-mailing email@example.com