Monitor Farm wanted

The Monitor Farm in Hereford. Richard Meredith, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager (left) talking to Monitor Farm hosts Martin Williams (centre) and Russell Price (right).
The Monitor Farm in Hereford. Richard Meredith, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager (left) talking to Monitor Farm hosts Martin Williams (centre) and Russell Price (right).

AHDB is looking for a farmer to host its first arable-focused Monitor Farm project in Northern Ireland.

AHDB Monitor Farms bring together groups of farmers who want to improve their businesses by sharing performance information and best practice around a nationwide network of more than 30 host farms.

Brian and Caroline Matheson, who hosted the Monitor Farm project in the Black Isle.

Brian and Caroline Matheson, who hosted the Monitor Farm project in the Black Isle.

Monitor Farms are part of AHDB’s wider Farm Excellence Platform, which works with the industry to improve performance through knowledge exchange and benchmarking

Each Monitor Farm project is hosted by a farm that is representative of other farms in the area.

AHDB organises and facilitates Monitor Farm meetings for farmers, who own and operate the scheme – by farmers, for farmers.

Tim Isaac, AHDB cereals and oilseeds head of knowledge Exchange, said: “We’re really pleased to announce the start of our search for the first Monitor Farm in Northern Ireland. As we build on the success of the programme by extending its coverage at this crucial time, we are keen to reach out to growers across all parts of the UK. We certainly picked up a lot of enthusiasm at the Balmoral Show earlier this year, so I am confident we will be able to appoint a highly suitable farm for us to launch next summer.”

AHDB is looking for a farmer who wants to:

r Boost technical performance, profit and long-term sustainability

r Manage costs of production and benchmark against similar businesses

r Share knowledge and influence best practice within their local area

r Forge relationships with the wider industry

Judith Stafford, AHDB knowledge exchange manager for Northern England and Northern Ireland, said: “Open-minded farmers looking to further their business are particularly well-suited to being a monitor farmer. We find that the more the host and the rest of the group are willing to put into the project, the more everybody benefits.

“The Monitor Farm and visiting farmers will also be able to learn from independent, non-commercial experts discussing subjects that are of local relevance and which have been identified as priorities by the farmer group.”

Interviews will be held in January and February 2018, with the successful farm being announced in March 2018.

AHDB currently runs 14 arable-focused Monitor Farm in England, and nine in Scotland under a joint scheme with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). Six more farms, including the one in Northern Ireland, will be joining the programme next spring.

Each Monitor Farm project runs for three years, with between four and six meetings held a year.

Apply

Farmers interested in hosting the Monitor Farm should contact Judith Stafford on judith.stafford@ahdb.org.uk or 07891 556623 by 31 December 2017.