20th January 2015

Keynote speaker unveiled for QMS “Sharing Best Practice” Conference

Justin McCarthy, Editor and Chief Executive of the Irish Farmers Journal, has been unveiled as the headline speaker at the Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) “Sharing Best Practice: Inform, Inspire, Innovate” conference on 12th February at Airth Castle, near Falkirk.

Mr McCarthy is an award-winning journalist who has travelled extensively learning about and reporting on cattle production and the red meat sector. A Nuffield scholar, he became CEO of the Irish Farmers Journal in January 2014, having been appointed Editor of the paper in March 2013. Previously he has had roles with Teagsc and ABP. He has extensive knowledge of the livestock industry and the techniques used throughout the world to boost productivity.

Mr McCarthy will be joined by a number of high profile Scottish farmers who will share their thoughts about how farmers can maximise their efficiency and profitability.

They include Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year, John Scott from Fearn Farm near Tain, who will speak about his aspirations for his sheep business. Another speaker is Louise Urquhart from Maryfield, Aboyne who, as a relatively new entrant to farming, will highlight her plans to maximise the grazing potential of her land to increase the kilograms of liveweight she can produce per hectare.

Lambing Live 2014 host farmer Hamish Dykes from South Slipperfield, West Linton, will give his thoughts about how farmers can embrace PR opportunities to help promote their business and the Scottish livestock industry and its brands.

Niall Jeffrey from Beilgrange, East Lothian, one of many farmers participating in the QMS ‘Focus on Figures’ project will talk about the importance of benchmarking and  share the process he went through before making the decision to expand his herd.

Danny Miller, a cattle farmer from Caithness, will speak about his farm, its resources and current direction and focus and which areas he feels he should look at in light of CAP reform.

The above speakers will be joined by Stuart Ashworth, QMS Head of Economics Services, who will speak about the importance of understanding the economic and technical performance of a livestock enterprise in hunting down profit. Jamie Robertson of Livestock Management Systems will also speak at this event and will highlight the ways the pig sector has improved the efficiency, cost of the energy used and the quality of feed produced.

“Any livestock farmer who is interested in hearing the latest on a range of initiatives aimed at improving efficiency and reducing costs are invited to register for this event. We have been delighted by the early uptake of places, with nearly 90 places already allocated,” said Johnny Mackey, QMS Head of Industry Development.

“At this stage we would encourage anyone interested in attending to register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”

The QMS “Sharing Best Practice” conference is free to attend (lunch included) but spaces are limited. To register for the event email info@qmscotland.co.uk or call 0131 472 4040.

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