Six Scottish farmers will open their gates virtually to showcase the benefits of changes made to their businesses during their time as monitor farmers.
A series of virtual events will be held between now and July 2021 as part of the new Monitor Farm Legacy initiative.
The project is a follow-on from the Monitor Farm Scotland programme, funded by the Scottish Government and jointly run by UK levy body AHDB and Scottish red meat levy body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
Farms involved in the programme were used as demonstration units and a place to share best practice in a bid to improve the profitability, productivity and sustainability of agriculture.
Six previous participants from the scheme, the earliest of which dates from 2003, will reflect on their time as a monitor farmer and explain how changes made to their businesses have benefited them.
They are: Robbie Newlands from Cluny Farm, Forres; Andrew Baillie from Carstairs Mains Farm, South Lanarkshire; Iain MacKay from Torloisk Farm, Mull; Andrew Booth from Savock Farm, Ellon and Hugh Broad from Woodhead Farm in East Lothian.
“I am looking forward to sharing what we have learned and continue to learn from the Monitor Farm programme,” said Mr Booth.
“What came out of our previous involvement was the benchmarking group which we set up in 2011.
“It has given us the evidence to better inform our business and as a result we have taken on more land and are more in tune with our costs than we were previously, so for me this is our legacy.”
He added: “I want to get local farmers involved again and work with other monitor farmers to compare what we are doing with other parts of Scotland.”
Mr Newlands, who runs a beef and sheep enterprise at Cluny, said: “Joining the legacy programme will allow us to provide an update on the work we have done as a result of suggestions from the group since the monitor farm programme ended.
“We have built new sheds, increased our stock and taken on more land.”
QMS head of industry development, Bruce McConachie, encouraged farmers to participate in the programme.
He said: “With the launch of the new legacy farms across Scotland there is an opportunity to build on the success achieved to date and for the industry to play a role in the transformational change of farm and rural business in Scotland, which will help meet the challenges ahead.”
A new digital monitor farm hub will be created as part of the programme.