William’s farm leads the way

Farmer William Baillie at his 'model' farm
Farmer William Baillie at his 'model' farm

A huge professional complement has been paid to an Upperward farm with its selection to become a model for the future of the nation’s agriculture.

Hillhead of Covington Farm has been selected as the very first Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Strategic Dairy Farm in Scotland. It will be only the fifth such farm in the whole of the United Kingdom.

Explained a board spokeswoman: “Hillhead will open its gates to other local farmers and demonstrate best practice, as well as making concerted efforts to improve efficiency. The first meeting at Hillhead will be on Wednesday, August 29 with host farmer William Baillie discussing his ultimate aim, to improve his business performance.

“ Initial focus will be on two important areas; nutrition and genetics.”

William bought Hillhead of Covington in 1996 and initially started off with 50 cows.

He now has 310 pedigree Holsteins and is aiming to grow the herd to 400 cows.

Next Wednesday’s meeting, the first group meeting at the farm, will map out a long-term vision for the business, including a critical look at areas for improvement and future focus.

Commented Paul Flanagan, the board’s strategy director for both dairy and Scotland: “The strategic dairy farm will offer Scottish dairy farmers the ideal opportunity to review their own practices.

“ We hope that William’s openness with his performance will get other Scottish farmers thinking about their own.”