2016 presentations

Here you will find PDF versions of the slides from all of the presentations and seminars at the 2016 Festival, and the speaker’s contact details. While it’s not quite the same as being there we hope it gives a flavour of the content. We have provisional plans to video all the talks at the 2017 Festival, so those who are showing or otherwise unable to attend will be able to view them after the event.

9:30amPasture is best
Christine Page, Pasture-Fed Livestock Association
Grassland forms a vital part of the Scottish countryside. It is an iconic symbol of our rural landscape, and for centuries has been the principal food source for cattle and sheep. Christine will talk about the benefits of adopting a pasture-fed livestock system.
Symington SuitePDF - 3MB
9:30amBee aware
Lanarkshire Beekeepers
Group members will be making a presentation on aspects of beekeeping and will also be on hand throughout the day to answer questions about bees and beekeeping.
Ring 1PDF - 7MB
9:30amPig nutrition
Jos Houdijk, SRUC, Head of Monogastric Science Research Center
Ross Mackenzie, SAC Consulting

Many smallholders keep pigs – either breeding or fattening – and many of us have waste fruit and vegetables, hay, haylage or silage. Could the two come together and in what proportions?

We’re all familiar with the general rule of 1lb feed per month of age, but on what basis should we substitute these “free” feeds? Jos Houdijk and Ross Mackenzie are here to explain all.
Ring 2PDF - 5MB
10:30amSmall-scale dairying
Christine Page, Smiling Tree Farm
We’re delighted to have Christine Page from Smiling Tree Farm in Shropshire join us to describe her small scale dairying enterprise. Christine milks a handful of Jersey cows once a day, leaving the calves with their dams. Her cattle are entirely pasture fed and she sells this special raw milk direct to the consumer.

With the conventional dairy sector in a difficult position, perhaps the future lies in local, small scale enterprises.
Symington SuitePDF - 6MB
10:30amProtecting your rural property
James Higgins, Police Scotland
Rural crime is a growing problem and Police Scotland are making a welcome return to the Festival. James Higgins will be explaining how you can protect your rural property. During the day, James will be available to chat about individual issues.
Ring 1PDF - 6MB
10:30amGrowing veg in Scotland without chemicals
Collen McCulloch, Soil Association Scotland
A look at some of the factors which can make the difference between success and failure, if you’re growing vegetables in Scotland and would like to use fewer or no chemical inputs.

Colleen will explore how natural soil fertility, crop nutrition, crop rotations, and choosing the right crops/varieties for your situation, can all improve the success of your horticultural crops, whether you’re growing outside or under cover.
Ring 2PDF - 5MB
11:30amMaking cheese
Denise Ferguson , Drumturk Cheeses
Denise bought her first goats in 1979; and there began a passion for the Pure Toggenburg.

Recently, Denise has resumed her craft of cheesemaking and established Drumturk Cheeses, in Northeast Perthshire. Using goat milk from her herd, and with plans for a milking cow, she is building a new rural small business.

We’re delighted to welcome Denise to the Festival to describe her business and the cheesemaking process – and if we’re very lucky, there might be a wee sample to taste.
Symington suitePDF - 3MB
11:30amThe Butchery Demonstration
Gordon Gibb, QMS
We know many of you have been waiting for the return of Gordon Gibb to the Festival – we missed him last year – and his wonderful demonstrations of butchery.

This event may be participatory. It will certainly be entertaining and informative.
Ring 1PDF - 450KB
11:30amExplaining permaculture
Carole Egner and Permaculture Scotland
Many smallholders want to make productive use of their landholding in a sustainable way and for a growing number, permaculture is the way forward.

Not sure what it is? Well, Carole Egner from Permaculture Scotland will be explaining all and giving practical tips as well.
Ring 2PDF - 2MB
1:00pmNo foot, no sheep
Caroline Robinson, SRUC
Caroline Robinson, from SRUC, will be reprising her informative Conference talk on sheep foot health and foot care.

The saying “No foot, no horse” can also for applied to sheep – aside from the obvious welfare issues, a lame sheep will inevitably less productive than it could be so we want to keep our sheep’s feet in tiptop condition.
Ring 1PDF - 3MB
1:00pmSmall Farm Grant Scheme
Janette Sutherland and Chloe McCulloch, SAC Consulting
Aimed at small farms between 3ha and 30ha of eligible land, the Small Farm Grant Scheme provides grants to part-fund capital projects such as building construction, land improvement, fencing, and handling facilities.

A similar scheme for crofts has existed for many years and has been a popular support scheme with grants of up to 80%.

Janette Sutherland and Chloe McCulloch from SAC’s offices in Portree and Dumfries make their first appearance at the Festival to explain both schemes - what’s eligible, what’s not, the grant rates, the pros and cons of grant funding and how to apply for the best chance of success.
Ring 2PDF - 3MB
2:00pmSelling and marketing online
Dan Champion, Champion IS
Many smallholders have something to sell – produce, livestock, craft, their time and skills. If you’ve got more capacity or supply than demand, selling and marketing online can be a great way to earn extra income (or even a main income).

Dan Champion is both a smallholder and a webby person and he’ll be looking at the pros and cons of some of the popular options for marketing your enterprise online.
Symington SuitePDF - 8MB