46 farms now at heart of expanding AHDB Farm Excellence Network

Farmer-to-farmer learning is now at the heart of AHDB’s knowledge exchange work, with 46 farms across the country fully engaged in AHDB Farm Excellence activities.

A compilation of short and in-depth profiles of the current AHDB Monitor and Strategic Farms, which span livestock, arable and horticulture enterprises, have been compiled in a new AHDB Farm Excellence directory, which has been launched today (3 January) at the Oxford Farming Conference.

Jane King, AHDB CEO, said: “Last year, we made it clear that a priority for the AHDB would be to speed up innovation and productivity growth on farm to help farmers prepare for Brexit and beyond.

“We’ve been busy coordinating our knowledge exchange work and building on the success of our Monitor and Strategic Farms. Now we have an impressive network of businesses all looking to adapt and improve through the power of farmer-to-farmer learning.  This new publication showcases the breadth and depth of farmer led learning right across the country, which is proving practical and motivating for all those involved.

“I’m delighted that our network of host farms will continue to grow in 2018 with new potatoes, pork, dairy and cereals & oilseeds Strategic Farms joining new Monitor Farms in Northern Ireland and Wales.

“The AHDB is keen to build partnerships with other organisations with similar on farm knowledge exchange schemes.  By working together we can expand farmer-to-farmer learning to more areas and encourage more farmers and growers to explore business improvement ideas”.

Susannah Bolton, AHDB Director of Knowledge Exchange, said: “Inspiration for farmers to adopt new technologies and make beneficial changes on farm must come from voices they are familiar with and trust. This is why AHDB is investing over £1m in our Farm Excellence network every year, to build on and create new groups to allow more farmers to see action on farm and channel innovation at those that can use it the most.”

Brian Barker, E.J. Barker & Sons, former monitor farmer and host of the first Strategic Farm for arable famers, concluded; “I want to build on my Monitor Farm experiences and look at the short- and long-term impact of decisions on my business. Understanding risk management is key, as is financial scrutiny of farm trials. As the host of a Strategic Farm, I want to make decisions that bring the best returns on investment. Most of all, I want to share my journey with others.”

Farmer-to-farmer learning is identified as a key and proven method of accelerating productivity growth in AHDB’s latest Horizon report, published today.

The report – Driving productivity growth together – calls for industry to seize the opportunity of the Government’s new industrial strategy and forge a new partnership to drive what AHDB calls ‘a dramatic acceleration’ in productivity growth.

It sets out a five-point action plan, which has increased industry collaboration and partnership to drive lasting change at its core.

To view the Farm Excellence directory online visit ahdb.org.uk/farmexcellence or to order your copy, please contact: comms@ahdb.org.uk


Get Our E-Newsletter - breaking news to your in-box twice a week
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy

About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.