NSA Scotland held their first ever field day, organised by region Coordinator, Grace Reid which provided attendees with an engaging roster of activities as they were welcomed to Fearn Farm on the Easter Ross Peninsula, Scottish Highlands.

Held on October 31 the day was open to NSA members and all who wished to attend with a strong attendance despite the cold temperatures.

Starting the day off was a live butchery demonstration led by QMS brand development manager Gordon Newlands. Followed by a business management workshop from Stephen Buchan of Virgin Money, Jane Thomson of Shearwell Data, and host farmer John Scott on behalf of FarmStrong Scotland.

The afternoon workshop sessions all ran simultaneously and comprised a practical demonstration on the importance of minerals and bolusing led by Agrimin’s Ieuan Davis and Megan Pedley. Followed by a health and welfare presentation from Lucy Rogers from Foundry Vets that discussed the key aspects to consider annually when looking after a flock including resistance to commonly used products, the relationship between vet and farmer, and efficiency vs health and welfare.

Elanco’s Matt Colston and Techion UK’s Frank Turnbull led a session covering the NSA Zolvix Exchange and best practice management of internal parasites. They also led a live demonstration of the use of diagnostic tools such as FecPak.

Last but not least, Neil and Debbie McGowan of Incheoch Farm held a session that discussed the main aspects of improving a flock through genetic selection and sustainable practices. This also included an interactive opportunity to ‘buy’ rams using an online bidding process whilst having to stick to a budget and flock type.

NSA Scotland Chairman Peter Myles says: “The future of farming depends on the sharing of good advice and best practices, with an in-service day for sheep farmers and young people in the industry. It was important to cater to those in the north with the absence of NSA Highland Sheep this year and our Field Day was a great chance to hear from some of the best in the business.

Amongst the varied and talented speakers, my particular highlight was the skilled butchery demonstration by QMS’s Gordon Newlands, where he explained the various joints and cuts to the group. Participants were then able to purchase their choice cuts of lamb at the end of the day, with the proceeds going towards the Lamb for St Andrews Day initiative, where schoolchildren across the country are given the opportunity to savour the very best of Scotch lamb produce, with thousands of portions being served to young people throughout November. A good and informative day was had by all.”

Special thanks must go to the Scott Family for hosting, the many speakers of the day, attendees, sponsors Elanco, and to Charlie Munro of Dingwall, and QMS for donating a lamb carcase each.