Oatridge Venue for Beef Farmer Discussion Meeting

Published Tuesday, 30th October 2012 in SAC Consulting news

Launch of West Lothian Beef Farmers' Group

A new discussion group for Beef producers in the West Lothian area will be launched at SRUC’s Oatridge Campus on Tuesday 20th November at 7.30pm. Similar business support groups for Beef farmers are organised across Scotland by experts from SAC Consulting, a division of Scotland’s Rural College. Oatridge, which recently became part of SRUC, is the ideal venue, with excellent meeting facilities and its own beef enterprise.

Following the wettest summer on record there are a number of problems facing beef farmers as winter approaches. The silages made from conserved grass are generally of poor quality, other feed prices are high and many farmers have had to bring cattle in doors earlier than normal, due to wet ground conditions.  Coupled with the uncertainty of what imminent reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy will mean, it is becoming increasingly difficult for producers to make a profit and make plans for the future.  

Beef groups are an important part of the consultancy work carried out by SAC Consulting. They give farmers the opportunity to hear relevant and up to date talks from industry experts, meet like-minded professionals and see different systems in practice. It helps them evaluate their own businesses and how they farm, which assists in planning ahead and, ultimately, improve their profitability in preparation for future changes to subsidies and the industry.

The open evening at Oatridge is aimed at beef finishers and suckled calf producers from the W. Lothian and surrounding area. It starts at 7.30 pm on the 20th November. There will be a briefing on the present state of the CAP reform proposals from Senior Policy Consultant Douglas Bell. Well known and respected Beef Specialist Gavin Hill will give a current industry update and Nutritionist Colin Morgan will talk about rationing for the winter. Just as important there will be the chance for farmers to question and discuss the issues raised.

The event also shows how specialists from any of the three Divisions (Research, Education and Consultancy) of  Scotland’s Rural College can come together to share facilities and deliver key messages to land- based industries and communities. The technical issues raised at events like the Beef Group can also be highlighted for students in practical sessions and lectures. The beef facilities on the SRUC Oatridge Campus are a valued asset.  

Following the launch of the group it is planned to hold four to five meetings a year, with a series of talks and farm visits.  The launch evening on the SRUC site will allow farmers to get a taster of what the beef group can do for them.

More articles in the news archive.