Scottish sheep and beef farmers are being encouraged to register for the Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) “Rising to the Challenges” conference on 17 May at Airth Castle, near Falkirk. With two weeks to go, almost 90 delegates have signed up to attend and the event is close to fully booked.
The free one-day event is set to consider the current challenges that beef and sheep farmers face due to market volatility and reduced support payments, and explore ways that producers can offset the impact of these challenges including the potential to further improve efficiency.
The morning of the conference will see attendees taken on a journey down the supply chain, starting at the retail end, moving to processing and finally back to the farm. At each stage the current challenges that each part of the supply chain face will be outlined as well as the factors that affect them and the opportunities which lie ahead.
The last speaker of the morning session will be John Ritchie, a livestock farmer from Montalt farm near Dunning , who will talk about some of the changes he has made in recent years in order to increase efficiency, save money and improve his bottom line. However, Mr Ritchie maintains that making improvements to his farm is a continuous process, he has made significant changes to his systems in the last few years which have helped improve his business.
The speakers in the afternoon session will highlight some practical steps farmers can take to try and maximise their productivity and, ultimately, their profitability in response to the current challenges.
Soil specialist Steve Townsend from Soil First Farming and Charlie Morgan from Grassmaster will highlight how farmers can best manage their soil and grass for optimum production. They will be joined by Donald Brown from SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, who will discuss targeted nutritional strategies to help different cattle types meet market specification. Dewi Jones from Innovis will highlight potential strategies for improving sheep margins.
“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for beef and sheep farmers,” said Douglas Bell, QMS Head of Industry Development.
“Our aim is for this event to provide key market insights and highlight some management strategies aimed at further improving efficiency and business returns.”
Mr Bell added: “We have been delighted with the early uptake of places and I would encourage anyone interested in attending to register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”
The QMS “Rising to the Challenges” conference is free to attend (lunch included) but spaces are limited. To see the full programme visit http://ow.ly/4njJOo and to register for the event email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 472 4040.