Food For Thought For Orkney’s Farmers

By Nick Morrison

Presentation to Orkney’s Farming Community

Roddy McLean is the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Director of Agriculture. He was introduced by Margaret Keenan, Kirkwall RBS Relations Manager.

This was a very well attended talk in the Ayre Hotel. As well as the farmers , Northvet and Birsay Farmers were there.

Much of my previous working life was with large corporations and to me much of Roddy’s talk was familiar territory.

Certainly parts of it are as relevant to our small Orkney farmers where “one man and his dog”, with perhaps another family member sums up the total staff levels as it is to big combines with several staff, secretaries and managers.

A few highlights applicable to us smaller farmers. One man and his dog certainly fits our postage stamp farm.

Take time out from the Farm at least once a week. Some sport, or fishing, a choir etc. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Further it is in this time off that ideas to improve the farms profitability may well occur.

SWOT analysis.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity’s and Threats.
This means that you need to look at the whole cycle of your farm’s activities, identify where you are strong. You can produce high quality animals that fetch good prices for example that would be a strength. Loss of Scottish or Orcadian premium brands because of Brexit is a definite threat.

Look for marginal increases. Would it be better to sell stock as calves/ lambs or as finished animals?

Nick Morrison

Nick Morrison

All in all Roddy’s talk  gave our Farmers food for thought.

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