Graze academy

Published Thursday, 17th May 2018 in About SRUC news

grazing lambs
The free events will offer important strategic management advice on grazing

A sheep and grassland specialist from SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College, will be one of the key speakers at a series of free events organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Poppy Frater will guide delegates through the key principles of grass and grazing management as part of QMS’s Better Grazing programme.

The meetings, which will be held across Scotland in May and June, are expected to attract a large turnout of farmers, particularly after a very challenging spring in terms of early grass growth.

The main aim for the events, according to Emily Grant, Knowledge Exchange Specialist at QMS, is to ensure attendees leave the meeting confident about being able to make the best strategic grazing management decisions throughout the whole grazing year. 

She said: “Grass is a relatively easy crop to grow but a much harder crop to manage well.  How it is grazed can impact on its growth, availability and quality and farmers can hear how to react to seasonal changes in grass growth.”

Anyone keen to make more from their grazing is welcome to attend the meetings – which will be held in Dumfries, Inverness, Lauder, Perth and Inverurie. Key areas which will be covered are the fundamentals of pasture growth and how carefully managing grazing can improve production.

Hailing originally from a sheep and beef farm in Northumberland, Poppy has also worked in New Zealand as Science Development Manager with Farmax gaining expertise in grazing systems and grassland utilisation, including rotational grazing.

She said: “If we know how grass grows and how it responds to grazing and what limits its production, we can design our systems to help promote growth and increase production per hectare.”

All five of the meetings being held around Scotland later this month will begin at 10:30am and finish at 3.30pm. Poppy will be speaking during the morning sessions.

Following lunch there will be a visit to a nearby farm to see and discuss the practicalities of managing grazing. The meetings will be as hands-on as possible, so that those attending will leave better equipped to apply best practice on their own farms.

Now moving into its second year, the main objective of the QMS Better Grazing Groups is to improve livestock producers’ profitability through the better use of grazed grass. The “Better Grazing” meetings will be held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 23 May - Hetland Hall Hotel, Carrutherstown, Dumfries, DG1 4JX
  • Friday 25 May – Balnain Village Hall, Drumnadrochit, Inverness, IV63 6TJ
  • Friday 1 June – Carfraemill Hotel, Lauder, TD2 6RA
  • Tuesday 5 June – Bluesky Experiences, Bachilton House, Methven, Perth, PH1 3QX
  • Thursday 7 June – Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, AB51 5XZ

Attendance at these workshops is free and lunch will be provided.  Please ensure you have clean, disinfectable footwear for the farm visit.

Places at these meetings can be reserved on the Eventbrite booking website (search for QMS Better Grazing) or by contacting QMS direct on 0131 510 7920 or  

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