Workshops for Scottish sheep farmers

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is holding a series of workshops to help sheep farmers maximise the earning potential of their ewes.

The Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) workshops are being held during August and September and are free to anyone involved in the Scottish sheep industry.

They are designed to give producers the opportunity to get a feel for using EBVs to make purchasing decisions easier. QMS estimates that the workshops could help farmers earn up to an extra £13 from their ewes.

The workshops form a core part of the QMS sponsored Scottish Sheep Strategy (SSS), a major initiative aimed at driving up profitability in the sector through improving technical performance within the flock.

Rod McKenzie, Scottish Sheep Strategy Development Manager said: "We had a lot of interest shown in the Focus farm sheep at Scotsheep and we look forward to being able to spend more time with producers at the workshops, to help them develop the confidence to ask breeders what the tups on offer will bring to their particular businesses.

"EBVs for sheep have been around for a number of years but finally sheep producers are beginning to make a link between attending these on farm events and achieving better returns from their flock's performance. In the current climate producers cannot afford to have passengers."

"The venues for the 2008 workshops have been deliberately chosen to give producers throughout Scotland the chance to visit farms where the EBV message is already in commercial use.

"These farmers want animals to be able to do a specific job ie milkier ewes, more lambs, or lambs that hit the market at a better time of year and are not prepared to settle for animals that just look pleasing to the eye."

The dates and venues are:

? Melvich, Thurso - 26th August at 7.30pm

? North Essie, Peterhead - 27th August at 7.30pm

? Corstanes, Biggar - 9th September at 7.30pm

? Allanfauld, Glasgow - 10th September at 7.30pm

? Otter Estates, Tighnabruaich - 19th September at 2.30pm

? Lorgba Croft, Port Charlotte, Islay - 20th September at 2.30pm