Webinar Webinar - 2nd July - 1pm - New People, New Pathways

Arable Scotland

Arable Scotland ‘Arable Conversation’ webinar – 2nd July – ‘New People, New Pathways – Routes into Arable Production and Alternative Crops’

Watch the Webinar on Catch up:

This webinar aims to share lessons from those who have established innovative and alternative arable enterprises with aspiring new entrants to arable production in Scotland, and beyond.


It is hosted by the EU-funded project ‘NEFERTITI’ (‘Networking European Farms to Enhance Cross Fertilisation and Innovation Uptake Through Demonstration’). NEFERTITI aims to support on-farm demonstration activities and farmer-to-farmer peer learning. The Scottish NEFERTITI ‘Hub’ is part of the project-wide network focussed on farm attractiveness for new entrants to agriculture. The Scottish NEFERTITI Hub aims to connect the network of people involved in Scottish agriculture with ‘shared experiences and expertise to share’, through on-farm demonstrations, discussions, and mentoring for new entrants. Further detail is available via the Hub Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NEFERTITIScottishHub/

During this webinar we will hear the experiences and views of leading arable farmers and specialists, including Alison Milne of Demperston Farm, and the ‘Crafty Maltsters’ brand, as well as Robert Ramsay, farmer and sales director at agri-tech specialists Soil Essentials. These innovative and entrepreneurial individuals are well informed of the issues facing new entrants to arable production and the importance of supporting the next generation in agriculture and crofting to a sustainable rural economy. The webinar will also involve a question and answer session with the speakers, as well as a discussion on the ‘big picture’ questions, for example identifying the key messages for policy makers and the wider agricultural industry). This webinar and discussion will be facilitated by the Scottish NEFERTITI Hub coach, Annie McKee from the James Hutton Institute. The webinar will be recorded (if acceptable to all speakers) and shared online via the NEFERTITI project website: https://nefertiti-h2020.eu/

Host: Annie Mckee


Annie McKee is a social researcher at the James Hutton Institute, based in Aberdeen. Her research interests focus on agricultural transitions, rural governance and institutions, land use policy, the impact of land reform, rural community development, and achieving sustainable development in rural areas. Annie has considerable experience of qualitative data collection and analysis, stakeholder engagement, and facilitation techniques following her PhD research, and roles in various FP7 and H2020 projects. She has led a range of policy-responsive and applied research projects for the Scottish Government, ClimateXChange, and the Scottish Land Commission, including research on the options for increasing the availability of farmland for new entrants to agriculture in Scotland, and the role of women on farms and in the agricultural industry.

Annie is currently the Scottish Hub coach and Hutton project lead for the H2020 NEFERTITI project, providing support and facilitation to on-farm and virtual demonstrations that support new entrants to agriculture.


Richard Ramsay


Robert Ramsay is, like many farmers an entrepreneurial diversified farmer. Robert is 52 and a graduate of Reading University Agriculture department. Since leaving university Robert has run the family farm, Kinblethmont, near Arbroath in Tayside. It is around 600 ha of mainly arable production with the odd foray into sheep. The land is also used for growing potatoes but this is on a rented out basis. There is also a tourism business run by Robert’s wife, Jessica, which can accommodate up to 54 people at any one time. Robert has branched out into renewables and is a founding owner of a Precision farming company, SoilEssentials. Robert helps Scottish Government by chairing an industry liaison group, around Agritech and Climate change. On the farm modern technology is to the fore with a Controlled traffic farming system in place and regular use of GPS, drones and satellite imagery. Robert’s main work passion is doing environmental good by embracing technology. I am also engaged in RISS projects looking at reintroducing Sugar beet as a low carbon fossil fuel replacement crop and another at Hemp as a versatile crop for the north east.

Alison Milne


Alison Milne has a diverse range of interests - a self-employed consultant, partner in a farming business, director of Crafty Maltsters Ltd and Director of Scotland Food and Drink.

Prior to setting up her own consultancy business, Alison was employed for 8 years with the National Farmers Union of Scotland in various roles, promoting the interests of the national industry.

In 2013 Alison left NFUS to become a partner in the family farming business, a mixed arable and livestock enterprise. Alison and her husband are both passionate about the future of family farming in Scotland and have worked in partnership to add value to the farming business. In 2019 they launched Crafty Maltsters Ltd, a pioneering new malting business, processing home grown barley into single origin malt for the brewing and distilling industry.

Harriet Ross and Ben Lowe


We are new entrant farmers based at Newseat of Dumbreck Farm, Udny, Aberdeenshire. We took on a tenancy on the farm last summer. We have about 300ac of combinable crops, a mixture of WOSR, WO, SB & WW. We also have 1200 nursery pigs on a B & B contract basis. Each batch of pigs is on the farm for about 6-8 weeks. This is to make use of the sheds we have available on the farm but also provide us with muck for the arable enterprise. We have grass that is used to feed an anaerobic digestion plant, owned by a local contractor. The grass is also grazed with sheep in the winter months. We have recently been selected for LEAFs new 3 year resilient and ready programme, promoting sustainable agriculture. Both Ben and I work off farm as well. Ben is an agronomist with Agrovista and I am a farming consultant with Strutt & Parker. Ben is not from a farming background but I am. My dad has an arable farm 5 miles away from us. We work on his farm in order to b


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