Budge sisters hope to boost farmers’ productivity

Two young farmers are doing their bit to help other producers become more productive and profitable.

Sisters Kirsty and Aimee Budge, of Bigton Farm, are relishing the challenge of running the sixth monitor farm to be established in Scotland.

Kirsty (left) and Aimee Budge, of Bigton Farm, hope that working with the monitor programme will help boost productivity.

Monitor farms are being established to help improve profitability, productivity and sustainability.

Producers are being given the chance to learn more through practical demonstrations, the sharing of best practice, and the discussion of up-to-date issues.

The sisters have been involved on the farm from an early age and took over the day to day running of the business from 2014 with support from their family.

The Budges hope that being monitor farmers will not only help them develop their business and learn more about how they can make it more profitable, but that other farmers and crofters on Shetland will benefit from the programme too.

Kirsty and Aimee, are passionate about farming and keen to improve the farm business. They are also keen to raise awareness of the importance of farming in Shetland and the role of women in agriculture.

And the two have plenty to keep them busy. Kirsty, 23, works as a teacher, as well as running the farm, while 19-year-old Aimee is in her final year of an HND course in agriculture at the Scottish rural college in Craibstone, Aberdeen.

Aimee said: “Farming on Shetland has some unique challenges – a short growing season means that cattle on the island are usually housed for longer, increasing feed costs. The weather, especially the high winds, can also be a challenge, and transport costs for animals, feed and other supplies are also much higher compared with most farms on the mainland.

“While there are certainly challenges, there are also a lot of positives.

“Shetland is a beautiful place to live and work and has a wonderful farming community. People here are incredibly friendly and supportive and we really hope that the local farmers will get involved and make the project successful.”

The new monitor farm plans to hold its first meeting in the new year. More on the Budge sisters will be included in the first Landwise edition of 2017


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