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A New Start Webinar Series

We hosted a series of webinars throughout the summer months of 2020, on “a new start”.  These discussed the various steps in a new start, from sourcing finance, to acquiring land, building relationships and resilient systems and implementing changes for climate change.

Hear from Sandy Hay, head of Agriculture at the Bank of Scotland and Jane Mitchell, a qualified chartered accountant and non-executive director of ANM group.  This webinar focused on the first steps, explaining the things you need to think about in setting up business and where to start with sourcing finance. Learn from our fantastic guest speakers, who have a huge variety of financial expertise.

Buying and owning land is viewed as the pinnacle of success but it is often seen as unachievable for many. Join us as we look at acquiring farmland in Scotland through purchase, which will show how it can be done.

Our speaker, Alistair Christie has a wealth of experience in the sale and purchase of farmland in Scotland, providing rural valuations and securing AMC (Agricultural Mortgage Corporation) loans as a partner at Galbraith. Brought up on a dairy and sheep farm in Central Scotland.

Alistair guides us through the land purchase process from finding land for sale right through to conclusion of missives.  Many of the myths and jargon surrounding purchasing land will be cut though.

With land often being named one of the largest barriers to entry, it is important to assess all of the options available when planning a new business venture. In this webinar we took look at contract and share farming agreements with industry specialists and farm managers at the forefront of these unique business models.

Standing in the shadow of Brexit and the uncertainty around it, with radical changes on the way we will need equally radical and innovative approaches to the challenges of the future. Our guest speakers, Ian Davidson OBE and William Stevenson have a wealth of knowledge and experience, they told their own stories, answered your questions and cut through the jargon.

William manages multiple contract farming agreements across north and south Ayrshire as well as his own upland farm at Ballantrae.  Ian is a specialist advisor for the Scottish Land Matching Service, which aims to match up and assist business partners in such agreements.

Contract and share farming agreements can be attractive alternatives to outright ownership of land, allowing those involved to build up capital and assets with greater control of risks. At the same time business models like these can aid succession planning, allowing those looking to slow down or retire to scale back their activity in a controlled, carefully manner.

Making farming work when you have to battle against the weather, fluctuating input and output prices can be daunting and seem almost impossible.  However, Charley and Andrea Walker, Grassland Farmers of the Year 2019, have demonstrated that it is possible to succeed despite all of these challenges.

Grassland management is the secret! They operate a rotational grazing system and is able to outwinter stock on deferred grass in the winter.

They discussed their system and what they have found works well.  Topics will include organics, reseeding, building fertility into the solid and reducing the labour requirement.

Just imagine managing to have a life and reduce your costs!

Agriculture can be an uncertain industry and COVID-19 has only magnified how circumstances can change very quickly.  Therefore it is more important than ever to ensure you have good relationships with professionals to give your business the best chance to overcome challenges you may face.

This webinar will give you a chance to hear from Mr John Laughton, Agriculture Relationship Director, HSBC who gives an insight into the value of these relationships from the professional point of view and what he sees as the best way to develop them and the benefits he sees from good relationships being built.

In this webinar we hear key business tips for starting with seasonal lets and farm tenancies from Dave Green.  Dave is a member of Aberdeen Endowments trust, a Scottish Charity which provides grant funding from its farm land and buildings in North East Scotland.  Dave is also CEO of Duncan Farms, Turriff.  Duncan Farms are a large enterprise, producing cereal and oilseeds as well as producing Scottish eggs, supplying Morrison’s Supermarkets.  Dave has previously been awarded the Farmers Weekly, Farm Manger of the Year title.

This webinar will give attendees the necessary tools to look at business opportunities for seasonal lets and farm tenancies. It also covers key factors to look out for in these opportunities and if applicable, what can be expected in the application process.

Topics surrounding Climate Change and GHG emissions are never far from the headlines and livestock are often in the spotlight when it comes to the ‘blame game’.

There are many theories and opinions about how we work towards creating a sustainable planet with cleaner air quality.

In this webinar you can listen to the ‘GHG Guru’, Frank M Mitloehner, Professor and Air Quality Specialist, University of California to gain a comprehensive understanding of the cow carbon cycle and the role livestock play in the challenge of nourishing a growing global population.

The last of our series “A New Start”, we looked at climate change - emerging trends and challenges in the arable industry.

Our two guest speakers are both at the cutting edge of research into how arable farming may have to change in the future and how farmers can manage the carbon footprint of their cropping systems.  The past ten years have seen record breaking dry summers and wet winters. To meet this challenge new technology and practices are continually being developed.

Professor Bob Rees is SRUC’s Head of Carbon Management and is involved in research into greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation, as well as other sustainable farming practices.

Professor Ian Bingham is senior researcher with SRUC who focuses on crop physiology and resource efficiency. This research has regularly been used in advisory publications outside of research publications.

Is sheep record keeping a challenging part of your farm business or are you a new entrant who wants to know more about sheep records?

This webinar has an update from SAC Consulting consultant, Rebecca McBain who summarised key aspects of sheep record keeping, including stock identification, movement of stock and medicine records to help streamline the record keeping process.

This hour-long webinar will ensure attendees are up to date with sheep record keeping.

A factsheet on sheep record keeping is also available here

Ever wondered what your animal requires and when?  The best way to feed them?  What minerals they need?  If so then this webinar is for you.

This practical webinar will discuss winter feeding for cattle and sheep.  This will cover some nutrition rules of thumb, practical tips and mineral supplementation from two leading animal nutritionists, Karen Stewart and Mary Young, SAC Consulting.

Winter brings with it a wealth of hazards and health issues in cattle and sheep which can all negatively impact on livestock performance and profitability. As cattle move indoors and sheep go to the tup, now is the time to ensure that your herd and flock are in good health to survive the season ahead.

Megan Fergusson, a Veterinary Investigation Officer with SRUC Vet Services, gives an overview of the common problems seen in cattle at housing, causes of ill-thrift in lambs at this time of year and the value of using cull ewes for iceberg disease screening.

Topics covered include:

  • Cattle pneumonia
  • Worms and fluke in sheep and cattle
  • Pine (cobalt deficiency) in lambs
  • Pasteurellosis in lambs
  • Iceberg diseases in sheep

An international evening featuring New Entrants from across Europe discussing how they got a start in the industry and what they are doing differently from their predecessors. We had contributions from four new entrants from Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany.

Speakers include:

  • Anja Hradetzky, Germany
  • Thibaut Giraud, France
  • Karol Kissane, Ireland
  • Daniel Ritch, Scotland

Here we find out how they got into the industry and what they did to make a success of their business. Although farming in different parts of Europe, these new entrants are running dairy, beef, and sheep units. They are keen to share their experiences, including their mistakes and opportunities! This webinar was organised in conjunction with the EU NEFERTITI and EURAKNOS projects.

Farming is a high pressure industry and while the lifestyle is great, at times of great uncertainty it is easy to become overwhelmed. With the challenges of Brexit and now Covid it is more important than ever to understand our own limitations and reach out for help and support when needed.

In this webinar we heard from Doug Avery of Resilient Farmer, as he recaps his own story, discusses his “four pillars” of good mental and emotional health, identifying the issues that hold you back and how to bring yourself back from the brink.

Doug has garnered international recognition for his frank, upfront and honest take on managing mental health within the agricultural industry and we are incredibly fortunate to have him speak to the Farm Advisory Service (FAS).

In this webinar, we heard first hand from Allan Cameron, who runs a large farming operation in Argentina. Allan is an Argentinian who can trace his roots quickly back to Scotland, through his Uncle, John Cameron from Balbuthie.  Allan was tour guide for a young farmers Agri Affairs study tour to Argentina in 2014.

Argentina is an agricultural super-power and is one of the biggest beef exporters in the world.  Utilising it’s favourable climate and vast areas of arable land, Argentina has developed low cost production systems for mass production of many commodities.

With a world renowned beef industry, as well as an arable sector producing huge volumes of Soya, Wheat, Maize and many other crops, Argentina plays a major role in feeding the world.  This webinar is a unique opportunity to hear how their industry works, first hand from an Argentinian farmer.

Fact Sheets

Supplying The Buyers

Do you know what the buyers want to see in your store cattle and lambs? Selling your livestock is an important part of your business and knowing what your buyer wants from your store cattle or lambs is a key way of understanding what you should be aiming to achieve.

In this webinar Oliver Shearman and Nick North from Caledonian Marts will present their thoughts on what buyers are looking for in store cattle and lambs coming out of the West Coast of Scotland.

Alternative Livestock

Ever wondered what it is like to farm deer and pigs in Scotland? Are you thinking about adding a new enterprise to your livestock farm?

Guest speakers for this webinar are Andrew & Lauren Houston of Glenkilrie Larder and Neil Wright, Matheson’s.

Business Planning

Planning is an essential part of any business, especially a newly formed business. The purpose of this webinar is to encourage New Entrants to prepare a business plan and show them how to go about doing this, challenge their business performance and push themselves and their businesses forward.

Poultry Production

Are you a new entrant to farming or someone from an existing business that is looking to diversify?  If so, this webinar is for you!

The webinar will cover the opportunities available to new entrants and existing businesses in the poultry industry!  We have three fantastic speakers from across the industry who are going to share their journey into poultry farming as well as the opportunities and challenges that they faced.

Funding Your Dream

Looking to fund your dream piece of farm machinery or invest in livestock but don’t have the luxury of cash at hand? Heard of HP and mart loans but not sure what they are or how they work?

Graeme McNaughton, Barclay’s Director of Agriculture & Landed Estates, Scotland and Jane Mitchell, Johnston Carmichael Business Advisory Director will discuss farm machinery and livestock finance.

Setting Up A Carbon Neutral Business

In this webinar, we hear first hand from speakers who have got low carbon and regenerative farming practices at the forefront of their businesses.

What To Expect From A Land Based Inspection

Are you worried about being selected for a land-based inspection?

This webinar features an update from Senior Agricultural Officer, Stuart Lorimer and Principal Rural Officer, John Stuart from the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division.

Relinquishment and Assignation of Tenancies Opportunities For New Entrants

This focussed in on the potential opportunities for new entrants and those progressing in their businesses through relinquishment and assignation of agricultural tenancies.  View here>>


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