Reviving and reinvigorating the livestock industry in the north and north-east of the country is the aim of a major new initiative launched last night by Aberdeen & Northern Marts (ANM).
The project, launched at Thainstone agricultural centre at Inverurie, has financial backing from the Scottish Government and will take the form of a farm profit programme designed to help beef and sheep farmers improve their technical and business efficiencies.
The project will be run in conjunction with the Irish Farmers Journal and will follow similar lines to one already in operation in Ireland which has been highly successful in improving farm output.
ANM Group executive director John Gregor yesterday said that the scheme would key into technical aspects which would be directly applicable to all producers in the north-east who were willing to join.
“Working with our members in 2014 we learned that there is an appetite for a new approach to how our co-op can help their business,” he said.
“At a time when changes to the CAP are impacting significantly on business across the country, all help is needed. This is why we took a long hard look at how we can deliver for our members.”
Gregor said that the overall objective was to improve the technical performance and profitability of livestock farmers in the region. He said two full-time livestock advisers would support producers in developing and implementing a three-year strategic plan and, if desired, SAC Consulting would carry out a whole farm review.
Eight focus groups are also to be established across the region comprising of ten to 15 farmers.