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Archive 2005

31 May 05
MSP Jamie McGrigor has given a cautious welcome to news of a replacement for the Livestock Improvement Scheme (LIS) which ended last year.

The Conservative MSP said it appeared that the Scottish Executive had listened to the pleas of the crofting community, but he warned against possible hidden costs which might be put onto crofters.

Mr McGrigor secured a debate in the Scottish Parliament in 2004 on the subject because of concerns over how the end of the scheme would effect cattle-keeping in Scotland's crofting communities. In the debate, he accused the Scottish Executive of hiding their real reasons for ending the LIS.

Jamie McGrigor said "When the Scottish Executive announced plans to end the Livestock Improvement Scheme, there were serious concerns at the time that the Executive were simply looking for a reason to dump the LIS and blame it all on Brussels.

"The old LIS scheme united crofting townships and encouraged community working and co-operation - something that has always been important to the socio-economic wellbeing of towns and communities across the Highlands and Islands.

"The news that the new Crofting Cattle Improvement Scheme will retain the ability to receive a grant to hire and that the Crofters Commission stud farm will be retained is certainly welcome.

"Those of us campaigning for the retention of these key parts of the LIS called on the Executive to listen to the crofters - crofters who were telling the Executive that this decision could have serious implications for crofting communities in some of Scotland's most sensitive areas. The SCF should be congratulated for all its effort in ensuring that, for once, the Scottish Executive has listened to the voices of ordinary people.

"The effort must now be to ensure that no hidden costs are put onto crofters by the introduction of the new system, and that crofting continues to have a sustainable future in Scotland's most remote areas".

19 April 05
farmingscotland.com young farmer
Caithness Final
Caithness competitors competed in chilly conditions in Thurso Mart recently in the second farmingscotland.com North Area District Final. They were tested on general farming knowledge, technical and practical skills, management and budgeting and a lighted hearted domestic section.

29 March 05
Halkirk Young Farmers New Web Site

22 March 05
Help at hand for crofters' unique way of life Scotsman article on the new crofting legislation

20 March 05
Young Farmer Of The Year Competition
A new National farming competition run by Eilidh MacPherson, Editor of www.farmingscotland.com   magazine will take place in Thurso mart on Wed 30th March at 7pm. Anyone involved in the farming industry aged 16-35 is welcome to take part. The competition has received backing from SAC, ABP and Tulloch and so far a quad bike is up for grabs as the main prize for the National winner.

8 February 05
Organic Farming Courses for Farmers
February 2005
With CAP Reform now separating separating subsidy support from production and the introduction of the Single Farm Payment, farmers have an opportunity to reassess their farming operations. And, given the modulation of a proportion of this subsidy support, it will be important also that they consider the opportunities offered by Agri-Environment Schemes such as the SEERAD Organic Aid Scheme (OAS).

To help farmers understand the physical and financial implications of converting their farm to organic farming, and to help them plan the conversion, SAC is running the following courses during February.  All courses will run from 10.00am to 4.00pm

  • Monday 21 February; SAC Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen
  • Wednesday 23 February; SAC Bush Estate, Edinburgh
  • Thursday 24 February; SAC Advisory Office, Perth

The cost for participants in Objective 3 areas (i.e. all parts of Scotland except HIE areas) will be 45, inclusive of lunch, tea/biscuits, course notes.

Further details from SAC Senior Organic Farming Specialist, David Younie, tel 01224 711072 or e-mail to d.younie@ab.sac.ac.uk

8 February 05
SAC Single Farm Payment Meetings in HIE AREA - Urgent Deadline For Farmers - 16 May
SAC is organising a series of meetings throughout the Highlands and Islands which aim to help farmers and crofters understand how the new Single Farm Payment Scheme works. The meetings will take place over the next six weeks (see below for times and venues) prior to the deadline for IACS applicatio

Archived Caithness Farming Items 2005
Archived Caithness Farming Items 2004
Archived Caithness Farming Items 2003