Farm Profit Programme to announce focus farms


ANM Group and Farmers Journal will hold an update meeting next week to announce the six focus farmers that will take part in the Farm Profit Programme: Making Livestock Pay. The event takes place Thursday 16 February 2017 at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, in Ring 2 and starts at 7:00pm.
This significant project – supported by the Scottish Government Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund –  has made good progress since launching earlier this year with the appointment of Declan Marren and Robert Gilchrist as full-time livestock advisors. They are now working closely with the six focus farmers to develop plans to take their businesses forward, with the aim of improving farming techniques and profitability.
John Gregor, Executive Director of ANM Group, said “We are pleased with the progress made so far and excited about the potential to support members and customers across the north and north-east of Scotland.  As Scotland’s largest farmer-owned co-operative, we are proud to continue to play a major role in supporting the agricultural industry and ensuring it is fit for the future.
“We invite all members, customers and stakeholders to come along to Thainstone Centre for an update on the aims and objectives of the programme.”
Currently, the advisors are working with Kirsten Williams of SAC Consulting carrying out independent business reviews of each farm. These reviews are critical to the project as they will form the basis of the strategic plans that each focus farm will follow over the three years of the project.  As part of the programme, the focus farmers will receive an intensive technical knowledge service and guidance on how to achieve agreed targets.
The eight focus groups that are being established across the region have also made a good start. The Caithness group held its first meeting in December, while the focus groups in Grantown on Spey and Angus met earlier in January, with others set to meet later this month. The groups will comprise of 10-15 like-minded farmers and focus on their systems, businesses, discuss challenges, share experiences and implement advice relevant to their farm.
The objective of the focus groups is to provide a platform to ask questions, challenge thinking and drive results. Those who are interested in being involved are invited to contact the team by email at
Regular updates about the farmers participating in this programme will be available online at, and in print on a quarterly basis. This will include key learnings, successes and challenges from the knowledge transfer programme.