More than 90 people attended the Lothians Monitor Farm launch meeting on Thursday 9 February 2017.

It is one of nine new Monitor Farms being established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by QMS and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.

The Scottish Monitor Farms programme is funded by £1.25million secured from the Scottish Government and European Union’s Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund.

Schoolchildren in Perth and Kinross are taking part in a project encouraging classes to grow and harvest their own potatoes from scratch.

The Mr Jazzy Potato Project, organised by the Perth & Kinross Initiative of the Royal Highland Educational Trust (RHET) and sponsored by WCF Horticulture, aims to show the children the gradually unfolding story of the potato and how food and farming are linked.

Ruth MacDonald from the Scottish Rural Network Support Unit reports from the Agri-Innovation Conference held in York on 31 January 2017.

From new ideas to tackle feather pecking in hens to improving the carcase traits of Swaledale sheep, this event provided plenty of inspiration for people looking to try something new in the agricultural sector. 

At a farm visit organised as part of an Agri-Innovation Conference in York, visitors learnt about how a group of farmers in York revolutionised their businesses.

AECS and Pains – Getting to Grips with Agri-Environment Schemes

Are you trying to get to grips with the Agri-Environment and Climate Scheme (AECS), or wondering how managing your land differently could impact production?

This practical event will look at ‘win-win’ situations, where agri-environmental management can benefit both wildlife and production, e.g. field margins increasing the number of insects, which pollinate plants or compete with pests, thereby boosting yield.

You will also spend time exploring some of the practicalities and challenges associated with applying for and managing land under an AECS scheme.

Around 100 people took part in the first meeting of the new Nithsdale Monitor Farm.

The Monitor Farms initiative aims to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses. It is being run jointly by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds. Nine new Monitor Farms are hosting open meetings, with events kicking off on 26 January and running until 6 March 2017.

A recent event in Brussels brought together young farmers and representatives of National Rural Networks from across Europe.

The workshop on 'Generational Renewal through Rural Development' took place on 25 January 2017 and was organised jointly by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) and CEJA - the European Council for Young Farmers.

After a successful Local Action Group (LAG) assessment meeting on Tuesday 24 January when eight further project applications were approved, Scottish Borders LEADER have now committed to funding totalling £705,000. 

So far Scottish Borders LEADER LAG have awarded grants to 15 projects:

The Agri-Environment and Climate Scheme (AECS) has opened for applications today (30 January 2017).

AECS is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). The AECS scheme promotes land management practices which protect and enhance Scotland’s magnificent natural heritage, improve water quality, manage flood risk and mitigate and adapt to climate change. It will also help to improve public access and preserve historic sites.

Watch our short video from the Scottish Association of Young Farmers' Agri & Rural Affairs Committee conference 'Cultivating Excellence'.

Young farmers from across the country gathered in Aberdeenshire in November 2016 to learn from industry experts, award-winning farmers and each other.

In our three-minute video from the event, you can find out more about the conference and why it's one of the highlights of the young farmers' calendar.