FARMERS IN Lochaber have been invited to attend the final monitor meeting at Strone Farm next week, to hear first-hand about the changes that have increased the unit's profitability and efficiency.

The 1200-hectare livestock farm, run by Chris Cameron in partnership with his father Malcolm, keeps 520 North Country Cheviot ewes and a herd of 50 breeding Limousin cows near the Great Glen, one of Scotland’s highest rainfall areas.

Chris and Malcolm signed up as monitor farmers in 2016 and throughout their three years in the programme, have made a wide range of improvements to their farming business, including changing their grassland management, how they finish their lambs, and their approach to reseeding.

Chris said: “Our main aim at Strone has always been to maximise value of stock leaving the farm, and the best way to do this was to grow more grass. During the project we continued to move our ewes and lambs to summer in Inverness and took on a new tenancy locally, which lead to more summer grazing.

“This has resulted in year-on-year improvements, with lamb weaning percentage peaking at over 100% in 2019 for the first time. The extra grass has allowed us to increase the size of our pedigree Limousin herd by 20%.

“The Monitor Farm project has allowed me to learn new techniques, find new grass seed mixes and discover different technologies to help drive the business forward,” he added.

Attendees at the final meeting will also have the chance to hear from Jamie Blackett, author of 'Red Rag to a Bull: Rural Life in an Urban Age', who will discuss setting a vision for the future.

Monitor farm facilitator from SAC Consulting, Niall Campbell, said: “The Monitor Farm programme has brought the local farming community together and provided access to experts and knowledge that will prove useful in driving their farming businesses forward.

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in improving their farm business to attend the final meeting which will cover the highlights and lessons learned throughout the three-year project.”

The final meeting, on Thursday February 20, will be held at Strone, near Banavie, Fort William PH33 7PB, beginning at noon. Lunch will be provided. The event is free, but places must be booked in advance via SAC Consulting on 01631 563093 or