SRUC Theatre “must visit” destination at Scottish Smallholder Festival

A cow at the 2018 Scottish Smallholder Festival

The 2023 Scottish Smallholder Festival will feature a brand-new area as a result of a partnership with SRUC.

The festival, which is being held at the Royal Highland Centre next month, will feature an SRUC Theatre as part of the seminar programme providing a professional and hands-on education for smallholders attending the event.

From sheep, goat and pig ‘MOTs’ – where different breeds of animals are compared to show buyers how to check their purchase is healthy, among other things – to talks on water sources, fencing and grassland management, visitors to the theatre will be able to learn key skills to enhance their own production and livestock welfare.

Additionally, attendees can pre-book sessions to learn about and practice calving cows on a lifelike Calving Simulator, the only place in Scotland that this experience is currently available to smallholders.

SAC Consultants, and representatives from the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) and SRUC Veterinary Services, will also be on hand to answer questions and promote their services throughout the day and there will be an informed session on SRUC's new School of Veterinary Medicine, which has been specifically designed to address the shortage of vets in rural mixed practice, agricultural and food sectors in Scotland.

Martin Beard, Chair of Trustees for Smallholding Scotland, said: “The partnership with SRUC formalises the tremendous support it has given the festival over the past 12 years, and brings a real focus to our efforts to ensure smallholders leave with new knowledge and skills. We have a great line-up of knowledgeable speakers, and I guarantee you will learn something new and interesting.

“The new SRUC Theatre will be a ‘must visit’ destination within the festival for everyone.”

Dr Caroline Robinson, Veterinary Investigation Officer at SRUC, said: “The Smallholder Festival is an amazing grassroots success story, grown by a dedicated and expanding community of volunteers over 11 previous festivals to become the big national event at the Highland Hall that it is now.

“It has provided a wealth of information and support to smallholders, native and rare breed livestock enthusiasts, small farms and rural food businesses, and has also spawned a great year-round community network of like-minded people.

“SRUC has been an enthusiastic presence at the festival from the beginning, with thanks to Scottish Government’s Public Good Veterinary and Advisory Services support, and we are delighted to develop our partnership further by introducing the new SRUC Theatre.”

The Scottish Smallholder Festival will be held in the Royal Highland Centre on Saturday 14 October.

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Posted by SRUC on 25/09/2023

Tags: Agriculture, beef, dairy, Partnership, Pigs, SAC Consulting, Sheep and Goats, Farm Advisory Service
Categories: Consulting and Commercial | Natural Economy