Chairman’s Report

Chairman’s Report

This year’s harvest has proved to be quite a task with the atrocious weather only matched by equally bad prices. The summer will also be remembered for the series of farm accidents, some with tragic consequences. All of these facts are inextricably linked. As farm finances become ever tighter, fewer and fewer people will work on the land. Amalgamation of farm units is inevitable with bigger machinery needed to work them and of course their operators will work longer hours to get the work done on time. When you add unfavourable weather conditions into the equation it results in less harvesting and sowing opportunities and this in turn increases the pressure on farm staff. These pressures lead to fatigue and stress and in these circumstances accidents are more likely tohappen.

Can we as a training group do anything that might help the situation? Recently we have started to work closely with the Health and Safety Executive and we are confident that we can now keep our membership up to date with health and safety issues. With the help of the HSE we produced a health and safety newsletter which was sent out with our summer newsletter and we hope that the information it contained has proved to be useful. It is our intention to produce an updated newsletter periodically and in the meantime we will be more than willing to try and answer any queries you may have on the subject. The training courses we deliver all have health and safety as a primary objective and some, such as manual handling, are totally dedicated to the well-being of the participants.

You would expect me to say now that getting proper training is more important today than ever, and of course it is, but I am realistic enough to realise that in these days of tight margins money for spending on training will probably be well down your list of priorities. However when you do decide to part with your hard-earned cash we must be able to convince you that you are buying cost effective, relevant and top quality training. Lantra courses are looked upon as the industry standard, are of an appropriate length and are continually updated and improved. They also offer quite an extensive range of integrated training and assessment packages. Our instructors are carefully chosen, continually updated and assessed on a regular basis. All that is then required is someone to deliver the courses efficiently and effectively and that is what we strive to do.

One solution to the cost of training would be for you and your staff to register for an ILA. A quick free-phone call and a simple form to fill in and you will have your own Individual Learning Account that gives you up to £150 to spend, (hopefully with us), in the first year.

Now that can’t be bad news.

Money seems to be in short supply all around and we have not been able to "tap" into any funding over the past 6 months. The 3 year LEADER II project that we were involved in came to an end in September and will be replaced by LEADER plus, but in a different form and not until the middle of this year. We are, as ever, keeping our ear to the ground and tryingto source any funding that we can that will help off set the cost of training, either directly or indirectly. ILA’s of course, are the main way for you to help pay for training.

We are involved with the Farmers Seminars, which are being run by P&K Council and Angus Council with funding from SET. These are proving ever popular, as we all look for new ways to make money. The next ones are in Angus on 23rd January and in Perth on 25th January. There will then be a joint one on 27th February (date provisional at present) when funding and marketing will be gone into in more depth. Please contact us if you require any more details on these or anything else.

Sheena Howden

The Lantra Welfare Event held at Perth Mart in November had a very disappointing turnout. New legislation is being brought out in 2001 covering transporting animals to market but we will bring you further information on this later in the year. Before you know it, Spring will be with us and you’ll all be up to your eyes trying to put in grain etc. There always seems to be a last minute rush towards the middle of March so please, if you are thinking of doing any training, give us a ring so that we can book our instructors in advance. We are advising everyone to take advantage of the Individual Learning Accounts as with £150 you can undertake a variety of training options.

Report by Corinne Yeaman

Training has been busy with First Aid & Chainsaw Courses running throughout November & December. Enquiries are already coming in for these courses before spring, so if you require training for First Aid or Chainsaw courses please contact me at the office and I will get dates arranged before you start getting busy.

Forklift courses are running all through the winter, so if anyone is in need of training before the springtime please get in touch. I would really appreciate an inquiry for a Rough Terrain Masted, as I have two trainees waiting and one more person would make the course viable.

Change of Law three years ago means that to pull a trailer over 750 kg you must sit a separate test. This is done via the DVLA and at present costs around £74 for the test.This means that anyone who has sat his or her test since 1997 must sit this test.

Training -We offer a 1-day course designed to cover all aspects of what will be required for the test. Our instructor advises you do 2 half days to enable you to practice and to use your own trailer for instruction and the test

Before the test -"L" plates must be displayed. Learner must be supervised by someone over 21 and who holds category B & E. Learner must have sat and passed category B theory and practical test first.

For the test - A flat bed trailer is the best for training and testing . Both vehicle & Trailer must be road legal.

The test involves - Reversing with control through a coned circuit. Coupling and un-coupling. Knowing about tyre pressure. Stopping up hill, Etc.

Our instructor has full test details and can put trainees through a mock test.

For further details please contact Corinne at the office

New Courses -

Meat Retailing -

Lantra Awards, the Meat Training Council, the Meat & Livestock Commission (Training Services) have joined forces to produce a series of meat processing courses. This follows an identified demand, initially from farmers who were looking either to diversify or increase their profitability.

Who should attend?- The courses are aimed at primary producers and processors, and will be of particular interest to those who have recently started trading and those planning to do so.

Why should they attend? - In Britain’s livestock sector, most primary producers know what it costs to produce and sell their stock. However, through the knowledge and understanding of the processing stage, these courses will assist them to meet the needs of their primary customers.

Courses are of 1-day duration and each trainee attending will receive a comprehensive workbook, handouts and nationally recognised certification.

Introduction to Meat Retailing -Gain an intensive insight to meat processing and to retailing meat products.

This course is designed to be an introduction. On completion of this course those who choose to take the subject further should attend more formal courses to cover specific areas.

Basic Butchery -

Recognise the primal cuts from beef, lamb and pork carcasses.
Cut pork and lamb carcasses to a basic retail standard.
Cost profitably and commercially for each carcass.

Other courses include - Marketing - Pie Manufacturing - Sausage Manufacturing - Bacon Curing

For further details or to book onto a course please contact the office.