The hosts of the new Lochaber monitor farm are gearing up for their first meeting later this week.
Strone Farm, near Fort William, is one of nine new monitor farms set up as part of a three-year scheme being run by Quality Meat Scotland and AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds.
Funded by a £1.25million grant from the Scottish Government, the monitor farms programme will operate nine farms across Scotland with the aim of helping improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.
The Lochaber unit, which stretches across just under 3,000 acres in the Great Glen, is run by Chris Cameron in partnership with his father Malcolm and mother Eileen.
The Cameron family will host a series of 18 meetings over the next three years as part of the project. The meetings will focus on tackling the technical and financial challenges that Strone Farm, and others in the area, face.
The family, who are tenants of Lochiel and Achnacarry Estate, run a flock of 550 North Country Cheviot ewes and a herd of 40 pure Limousin cows.
Chris Cameron said the family was excited to be involved in the project.
He said: “We are far from perfect and we know that there is plenty of scope to make improvements to our business through being part of the monitor farm project.
“We’re also really looking forward to sharing the benefits of having a monitor farm in Lochaber with other farmers in the area.”
One of the monitor farm’s project facilitators, Niall Campbell, said: “Farmer-to-farmer learning, along with access to technical and expert speakers, has been proven to be the most successful way to share knowledge and best practice. This is a great opportunity, not just for Strone and farms locally, but for farmers everywhere to help improve business sustainability for the future.”
The first meeting takes place on Thursday. It starts at the farm at 10.30am with a tour of the holding before moving to the nearby Moorings Hotel in Banavie where lunch will be served followed by a series of presentations about the farm’s grassland management and current finances. The meeting will finish at 3.30pm. Those wishing to attend are asked to book their place by calling Niall Campbell or Morven MacArthur on 01631 563093.