NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.  (Read 8246 times)

Big Light

  • Joined Aug 2011
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Re: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2012, 07:51:41 am »
I appreciate this isn't " subsidised diagnostic packages at local laboratories", but is perhaps closer to "  veterinary issues such as welfare and disease"  -

 Perhaps a cooperative type SAC / vet type scheme whereby small doses of medicine could be split from commercial packs for those that have less animal numbers could be established.
There must be a lot of waste up and down the country or people using past recommended dates. Obviously some things are particularly time specific during the year. I think perhaps some people use less "preventative" type medicines due to cost and are more likely to let things take a chance!. Where if people could buy a dose for 5 or 10 or 20 it would be far more cost effective and i believe better animal welfare would follow.

Again this suggestion is probably full of legislative issues that will shoot it down and I'm not entirely sure whether the medicine companies / vet practices would fully support it but it would make sense!

We were after all asked for a wish list :D

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2012, 09:07:25 am »
My suggestion is for SAC to be linked in some way, even if just a tenuous one, to the numerous smallholder groups across Scotland.  I am sure CSSA is not the only group, and in fact if there isn't a smallholders group in any particular areas it might be a good idea to set these up. 

We  co-operate with each other and help each other.  I don't have pigs and cheep but i can fill my freezer at good prices any time I want.  Some people don't have hens so they get eggs from me, some people have had hens stolen, or the fox got to them - they were replaced by other members as a gift.  We have members who travel at least an hour to get to meetings. We have our AGM on the 24th and it will be just as much a social evening as a business one.  I am sure SAC could tap into this resource.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

CarolineR

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2012, 03:06:16 pm »
A lot of really good stuff so far - as always, there are usually a few things brought up that only people on the ground with the relevent experience would think of, which would not neccessarily come up naturally during a conversation, so keep them coming! Thanks everyone, tell all your friends to come and have their say too :) The discussion between members is always good, so posting is the best way, but if you would prefer (and if you are feeling shy!) feel free to PM me too.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 04:04:43 pm »
One interesting area which is a minor minefield to negotiate is the whole issue of preventative medication, as Big Light says.

Quite a few of the livestock keeping books, esp the older one, have calendars which if followed would mean wee were drenching  worming jabbing or bolusing our animals (esp sheep!) virtually every month of the year. A lot of people who go into smallholding arent so comfy with doing that unthinkingly, and also esp with worming, we may also have horses and so be aware of the downsides of blanket treatment.

So a course which looked at how to judge what things were needed for ones animals/environment, the ability to (as others have said) source small batches at reasonable cost for the things that are really useful (like Heptovac p+ or ovivac), and updating on the latest thinking would be very useful.

One idea if there were a number of related courses would be whereby you could pay a fee of £x and then be able to attend as many of them as you wanted to, space allowing. No shows could be discouraged by you having to pay for the course on booking but as you had a sub, the course fee would be returned if you turn up to the course.

Maybe SAC could also host an annual small x-keepers (sheep or goats or whatever) conference each year, where you could have quite a few speakers/discussions eg someone updating on ID regs, transport regs, disease, new drugs, marketing, breeding, vet issues such as foot trim or cull etc.

CSSA courses arent of any relevance given the distances involved to a huge number of smallholders and also would be smallholders. Altho not as wealthy, smallholders up here can I think be more willing to come to a course as long as they can reach it and the cost is not prohibitative, SAC could play a big role.

I too attended the lambing course a year or two back and it was great, and Im glad to have the notes. I will consider going again as thankfully my sheep have not presented me with any difficult births (thankyou Shetlands!) and so I am getting rusty!

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2012, 09:14:53 am »
I had suggested to Caroline some assistance with grants and funding. I suspect that a lot of smallholders don't apply for grants and subsidies to which they are entitled. This may be for a number of reasons - pride, don't need the money, don't know about them, too hard to apply for.

We recently thought about applying for SRDP funding to convert an outbuilding but just gave up in the end - there didn't seem to be any chance of us getting anything as the criteria are so tight now, but also the application process is so tortuous (same for £15k and £1.5million   ::))

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2012, 09:49:02 am »
also with the grants most of the time you have to spend the money first and then maybe if you are lucky get a part back later: for many smallholders it would only be having the money at the time of the project that would enable it to go ahead! Need something like the accelerator self build mortgage where the grant could be released at least partly at time of paying for the project, not that this will happen!

CarolineR

  • Joined Jan 2012
Re: To all Scottish smallholders on TAS - views sought by SAC.
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2012, 10:17:21 am »
Thank you so much to everyone who posted and everyone who emailed me with more detail too -without your input we would not have had a case, and with funding, if you don't ask nicely and with proven good reason, you don't get!

Good news, as things are now on the move, and it looks very like there may be more funding for Scottish smallholders soon.

The most likely starting point at present is funded courses, in several different locations around Scotland, to try to make husbandry, management and disease information affordable and, importantly, accessible to all, even in much more remote locations.

We may need a little patience, as these things take time..... but well done all of you, and you know where I am if any of you would like to contribute anything further, feel free! We want to make sure that what is provided with any funding is what YOU need and want, so opinions and suggestions are always very welcome no matter what stage we are at.

Caroline

 

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