Monitor puts the focus on farm finance

(farming)''John Mcfarlane

(farming)''John Mcfarlane

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FINANCE and environmental issues are the subject of an open evening next week.

They will be discussed at a Monitor Farm event at Morpeth Rugby Club on Tuesday at 7pm.

It is eight months since the launch of Northumberland’s Monitor Farm, Donkin Rigg near Scots Gap.

During this time there have been a number of events held both on and off the farm, attended by livestock farmers and associated agricultural businesses in the North East.

The last two Monitor Farm meetings were aimed at sheep and cattle enterprises.

John Macfarlane, co-facilitator for Northumberland Monitor Farm and director of Alnorthumbria Veterinary Practice, said: “The feedback we have had from all events has been exceptionally positive and now that we are eight months into the programmer we have covered many topics in great detail. However, the focus has been on the livestock, and land and pasture management we are now looking at environmental issues, implications of the changes to the SFP and farm finance.

“I myself am surprised and delighted at the breadth and depth of subjects that have been covered at the events and know that this one will once again be of interest to many farmers.”

At next week’s meeting delegates will be updated on the most effective methods of sourcing finance for their businesses and what environmental opportunities they should be considering.

Capital and finance will be covered by Tony Cornell, from Lloyds TSB, and environmental issues by George Dodds, from FWAG.

The 1,600-acre Donkin Rigg farming enterprise was chosen as the Monitor Farm as it is highly representative of a Northumbrian livestock farm.

During a three-year programme, the farm is being developed as a best practice example.

The aim is for Donkin Rigg to be used by the agricultural industry as a show case for the future of farming in the North East.

Farmer Simon Bainbridge will update attendees about the initiatives that have been introduced and the research that has taken place.

The Monitor Farm project, which is funded by LandSkills North East as part of the Rural Development Programme for England, aims to help farmers develop their businesses and improve the levels of profitability on the host farms and those of the farmers that get involved in the project.

Tuesday’s event is open to any farmer or business connected with the agricultural industry and is free to attend but pre-booking is essential.

To register, contact Hellen or Sandra on 0870 6091840/01904 771213 or email