THE latest ‘demonstration day’ hosted by Scottish Land & Estates took place yesterday (Tuesday) at Stirling Mart and was packed out with delegates eager to learn more about the deer farming business.
The event, held in conjunction with the British Deer Farms and Parks Association (BDFPA), gave attendees the opportunity to learn from established deer farmers about how the venison business could boost their existing rural enterprises and integrate with their current livestock production systems.
(Mr) Ali Loder, a red deer farmer and speaker at the event commented:
“It was encouraging to see so many people at the event with a real interest in diversifying into deer farming. The fact that several of the major UK deer buyers and processors were also present shows how important Scottish farmers could be in fulfilling the huge demand for venison”.
(Mr) Hope Vere Anderson, a delegate from Dumfriesshire commented:
“We found the whole day informative and useful. The site visits were our highlight, comparing their land, the topography and the discussions that went with it, to our own opportunities, for example the benefits of spraying bracken by helicopter. We have mixed land and now understand that we can utilise all of it in one way or another to create the correct environment for the enterprise.
“We have been considering possible diversification into deer farming for a very long time and now intend to pursue it further. The speakers were matter of fact, they didn’t paint a rosy picture to get people on board. Some had been involved for over 30 years and others for a much shorter period but all had realised the potential. I think it's still an untapped industry, people haven’t missed the boat, it’s just arriving, and venison is coming of age with the supermarkets promoting this healthy option. Overall, an enjoyable day with wonderful people”.
The question and answer session included a wide variety of points, many around costings and breeding. The speakers held different views making the answers diverse and the session dynamic.
The event was sponsored by Holme Farmed Venison and McArthur Cyclone, supplier to the industry of fencing and buildings, who were available on the day for networking and advice.
Business Gateway was also on hand to give practical help, advice, support and information on business development, finance, planning and grants for both new and existing enterprises.
Information on future demonstration days can be found at www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk.