The Scottish Organic Producers Association (SOPA) is inviting those from across the agricultural sector to attend this year’s Livestock in Low Input Systems (LILIS) conference on June 16th 2017.
The LILIS conference will look at the successes and challenges of livestock production in organic, upland and similar low-input systems. Topics under discussion this year will be the use of intercropping and companion planting, and how simple innovations can boost the productive yield from grass swards.
SOPA are joining forces with Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) to host the conference, which will be held on the 16th of June 2017 from 11am to 3pm at Lower Mill of Tynet farm, near Fochabers in the North East of Scotland. Tickets cost £31.54 (including VAT and booking fee) and can be booked online at http://tinyurl.com/krcgdup or by scanning the QR Code.
The farm conference will include a long lunch, with plenty of time for networking, and delegates will also have the opportunity to join a tour of Lower Mill of Tynet Farm.
SOPA member and Nuffield Scholar Gordon Whiteford will host this year’s event. Gordon was originally brought up on a dairy farm in Ayrshire, and is now a first-generation farmer on Fochabers Estate. Gordon took his first venture into organics in 2005 by renting a field in Ardersier, near Inverness, to establish an organic poultry enterprise. He now has two flocks of 2,000 British Black Tails for organic egg production.
In 2012, Gordon was fortunate to gain tenancy of a 52 hectare farm at Lower Mill of Tynet, where he initially set up a free-range laying hen enterprise, and as of 2016, the farm entered conversion to organic production with a mix of enterprises, including the laying hens, as well as the addition of sheep and cattle, along with supporting arable.
SOPA are excited for delegates to have the opportunity to view a farm nearing the end of its organic conversion period, albeit under the management of an experienced organic producer, and to see some of the ideas, such as companion cropping, that Gordon is implementing, and keen to share with LILIS attendees following the completion of his Nuffield scholarship.
As well as a host of speakers, the afternoon will involve an on-farm walk, which will include a look at the organic techniques being employed by host farmer Gordon Whiteford.
Debs Roberts, SOPA Policy Manager, had the following to say about the upcoming event:
“We’re really looking forward to this year’s LILIS conference, and to visiting Lower Mill of Tynet Farm. It’s always exciting to meet people from across the farming sector, and the topics and speakers that we’ve got lined up will make for a great event!”
“Last year’s conference was a great success, and we believe that it’s important to continue to bring people who work in and around agriculture together to discuss the ever-changing landscape of the industry, especially in the light of last year’s Brexit vote. We’re really interested to explore how farmers are moving away from the subsidy-based culture and adopting simple techniques that improve yield without intensive use of inputs such as fertilisers. LILIS gives us a stage to discuss these ideas.”