Sheep farming and wool were the bread and butter of the islands for 160 years, before fishing replaced them.
Agriculture now brings in about £3m a year and most farmers supplement their income, because of low wool prices.
The government ended a system of large private farms with absentee landlords in the 1970s when it bought them, then sold off units to locals. It still runs four large farms.
It is hoped establishing breeds suitable for both meat and wool will improve the outlook.