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Barnbackle holds first meeting

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Barnbackle holds first meeting

THE first on-farm meeting for Dumfries' new monitor farm took place this week.

The McCornicks are welcoming farmers from across the South Wet to Barnbackle at Lochfoot yesterday, Thursday.

There will be tours of and discussions about key parts of the farm, as well as an introduction to the business and the new Monitor Farm programme.

Barnbackle is a 500 acre beef and sheep farm run by Richard McCornick and partner Hayley Currie, with Richard’s parents, Andrew and Janice. Richard’s brother Craig and wife Michelle are also partners in the business.

There are 150 Sim-Luing spring and autumn calving suckler cows, 20 store cattle, and 700 ewes at Barnbackle. Most calves are sold as sucklers with only a small number kept through winter. Richard also runs a small herd of pedigree Charolais cattle, supplying local farmers with bulls to meet their requirements. Some of the cattle are out-wintered on kale. The sheep also winter on kale and swedes. Ewes are Texel cross Mules and all lambs are sold off grass.

The aim of the Monitor Farm Scotland Programme is to help farms to reach full economic, social, and environmental sustainability by optimising production. Over the next four years, both other farmers and experts will be brought together to help the team at Barnbackle assess the farm’s performance, explore opportunities, and develop solutions to the challenges they face.

Monitor Farm Programme manager Beth Alexander said: “We are delighted to welcome on board the McCornick family. During its lifetime, the Monitor Farm initiative has pioneered new ways of working, experimented with fresh ideas and, most importantly, helped to improve the productivity and profitability of the businesses it has worked with. The journeys these farms go on will be as unique the farms themselves.

“The benefits of the programme extend well beyond the gates of the individual monitor farms. The launch meetings are open to the whole farming community, who are very much welcome to come along and join the discussions. We want the learnings and the example set by Monitor farms to benefit all farmers across the whole of Scotland.”

Maura Wilson is the programme adviser for Barnbackle and she will be seeking 10-12 farmers and businesses locally to be part of a management board.

She added: “There are significant opportunities and challenges ahead for the South West’s fantastic agricultural industry and I would encourage farmers in the area to come along and find out more about how their businesses can benefit from getting involved.”

Contact Maura on 07721 677556 or email [email protected]

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