Suckler cow management top of the agenda for June Stirlingshire Monitor Farm event

16 May 2024

Increasing the sustainability of your livestock farm, will be the theme at the 2024 Summer Open Meet at Stirlingshire’s Monitor Farm – Lands of Drumhead – on Wednesday 12 June from 3pm.

Visitors will hear from a superb range of expert speakers including Alex Pirie from SAC Consulting, CEO of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society Robert Gilchrist, as well as representatives from the Moredun Research Institute who will provide practical demonstrations of how to perform and interpret faecal egg counts for worms and fluke in both cattle and sheep.

Lands of Drumhead is one of three units run by the Duncan family and is situated on the boundary of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Keynote speaker Robert Gilchrist has a background in beef consultancy having previously worked with Keenan, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), independent consultancy and the EU funded Farm Profit Programme. Robert says:

“With the key challenges that the industry is facing, a viable, profitable suckler cow is key to future success.”

Through the Monitor Farm Programme, the Duncan’s are hoping to explore if there is a better way to make use of the lowland farms and the associated labour.

Senior SAC Consultant and Area Manager for Ayrshire Alex Pirie, will focus on biodiversity auditing, discussing some easy nature enhancing wins and looking at what the Duncan’s have proposed in their recent application for the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS), as well as the opportunities available to other farmers and crofters.

Staff from the Moredun Research Institute will be showcasing the merits of routine faecal egg monitoring from their mobile laboratory.  They will explain the benefits of optimising anthelmintic (wormer and flukicide) treatments from both a financial and production perspective, how to reduce anthelmintic resistance risks and ways to mitigate unintended impacts on the environment.

The Duncan family also use their stunning location on the edge of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park to their advantage, providing unique farm holiday accommodation and meat boxes and will share how their ‘Farm to Fork’ enterprises galvanise their core farming business.

Monitor Farm Regional Adviser for West Scotland Christine Cuthbertson says;

“The suckler cow really is the mother of the Scottish beef industry and she is the perfect animal for managing our beautiful environment as well as producing quality store calves for the market, but she needs to earn her keep! Knowing the profitability of your herd can help you focus on where refinements can be made. Our guest speakers will cover breeding and cow selection, health, and environmental schemes which are just as applicable to those with sheep systems too.

After a challenging Spring, it is also an opportunity to catch up with friends and neighbours and like minds!”

The afternoon’s speakers will be followed by a BBQ.  It’s vital to book a place at this meeting, for catering purposes. The event will conclude at around 7.30pm.

Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite here and more information on timings is listed on the Monitor Farm Programme site.


Date: Wednesday 12 June 2024, 3pm – 7.30pm

Venue: Lands of Drumhead, Balfron Station, G63 0NH

Car parking is very limited – please car share if possible.

Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and sturdy/waterproof footwear.

Biosecurity – clean vehicles, footwear and clothing before attending.

Sorry, no children under 16 or dogs are allowed.