10th anniversary

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The challenges facing Scottish farmers are set to be discussed at an annual industry conference.

‘Weathering the storm’ is the theme for the Farming Scotland Conference, which will take place on Thursday, February 7, 2013, at the Carnoustie Golf and Spa Hotel.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the conference has announced that George Lyon, MEP for Scotland, will be the keynote speaker.

Brought up in a seventh generation tenant farming family on the Isle of Bute, George has a deep understanding of the industry and during his time in the Scottish Parliament he regularly campaigned on land and rural issues.

He was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and his work on the Agriculture Committee and the reform of the CAP will provide excellent talking and discussion points for delegates.

George said: “I am delighted to be taking part in the Farming Scotland Conference and I am confident we can shine some light on the major challenges facing Scottish agriculture.”

Delegates will also hear from chair of the Potato Council, Allan Stevenson, and Jim McLaren, chair of Quality Meat Scotland. BBC Young Farmer of the Year 2012 finalist, Tom Rawson, completes the line-up.

A panel session and lunch will also be included at the event.

The conference is being sponsored by Thorntons Law Firm, EQ Accountants, Bell Ingram and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Liz Barr, head of the Land and Rural team at Thorntons, said: “The Farming Scotland Conference has attracted a diverse range of speakers over the last decade, and the 2013 event will be no exception.

“The theme of the day, ‘weathering the storm’, sums up the problems faced not only by Scottish farmers but the industry across the globe.

“The conference will look at a range of issues, including innovation for farmers, the effects of what could be a substantially reduced Single Farm Payment and the difficulties facing those in the potato industry.”

Graeme Davidson, partner at EQ Accountants, added: “We are also thrilled to welcome George to the conference as his expert knowledge on agriculture and the important role he has in the European Parliament will make him a very interesting guest speaker.

“Allan Stevenson, Jim McLaren and Tom Rawson will also bring their own experiences and opinions to the day and we look forward to hearing from each of them.”

Delegates can book their place at the conference by emailing Mary Campbell at mary.campbell@eqaccountants.co.uk or contact 01307 474274.