SAC Gets New Funding For Courses In HIE Area
29th May 2006
SAC has been awarded nearly £152,000 by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to fund the continuation of a training project in the highlands and islands area. The renewed funding will support the project from August 2006 to July 2007.
This most recent award follows on from similar support awarded last year which enabled SAC to initiate a series of subsidised training courses.
In the first year of operation the courses have attracted more than 1000 trainees - well in excess of the number who were originally expected to participate.
Inverness-based SAC Consultant, Siobhan Macdonald will continue to drive the project forward and will work together with other agencies in the Highlands and Islands to make best use of the funds to cut costs for individuals. From Shetland to Bute, farmers and crofters will be able to take advantage of the financial help and organisation of many
locally held courses.
Most popular courses to date have been the beef cattle events, beginners courses on livestock and chainsaw courses. Also in increasing demand are beginners courses in small scale horticulture, land management contracts and pollution prevention, now being
planned for the coming year.
Many courses are held in conjunction with the Scottish Crofting Foundation, NFUS, machinery rings, FWAG and the Crofters Commission in order to reach as many farmers and crofters as possible.
SAC Training Services
High Prices and High Costs Make Business Planning Essential The continued high costs of livestock feeds mean merchants no longer have stocks of materials available at discount (as many did last winter). In the new 32nd edition of SAC's Farm Management Handbook the budgeted cost of feed and forage for beef finishers is 35% higher than anticipated this time last year.
The importance of looking after a newly purchased bull on the first few days following it's arrival at the farm was one of the main messages to emerge from a bull management day, held on an Invernesshire farm this week, and attended by over fifty local beef producers. This was the first in a series of events, "Farming for the Future", organised by SAC in collaboration with NFU Scotland and supported by European Social Funding which aim to help producers adapt to changes following the introduction of the Single Farm Payment.
TIME: 1.00pm on Wednesday 18 October 2006 VENUE: Stemster Farms, Georgemas Steading - opposite the Georgemas junction of the A9. The future for sheep farming in Scotland will be the main topic at the first meeting of the North Sheep Discussion Group, a group set up by SAC's Thurso-based farm business consultants to support local farmers.
Lamb grading, sheep health, production systems and easycare sheep are among the topics to be discussed at North Sheep an open day for the sheep industry which is due to be held on Thursday the 10th August 2006, at Kirkton Farm by Melvich, Sutherland, by the kind permission of Messers W Findlayon. This free event which starts at 1.00pm has been organised by SAC and is supported by European Social Fund (ESF), Highlands and islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
The change in farm support away from direct headage payments means that livestock producers need to improve efficiencies in production and not rely on the single farm payment to prop up the business. Learning new ideas and implementing these ideas is the way forward.
SAC is organising a series of meetings throughout the Highlands and Islands which aim to help farmers and crofters understand how the new Single Farm Payment Scheme works. The meetings will take place over the next six weeks (see below for times and venues) prior to the deadline for IACS applications on 16 May 2005.