Leading sustainable farming organisation LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and global crop protection and seed company Corteva Agriscience have teamed up in the search to develop new LEAF demonstration farmers.
The Resilient and Ready programme will support two farmers to become industry leaders in sustainable farming.
They will participate in an immersive, action-packed three-year programme of training, technical support and mentoring to adopt more sustainable farming and gain the skills and know-how to showcase their expertise and go on to become a LEAF demonstration farmer, industry leaders and innovators.
Alice Midmer, demonstration and innovation manager at LEAF said: “The farming industry is undergoing huge changes. The new Agriculture Bill and reforms to support payments through the new Environmental Land Management scheme will pay farmers for environmental services and benefits, with pricing based on a natural capital valuation approach. In order to stay competitive and maximise the opportunities these changes will open up, it will be critical for farmers to get on the front foot.
“Our Resilient and Ready training programme offers a hugely exciting opportunity for two forward thinking farmers to build the resilience of their own businesses and make a long and sustained contribution to the agricultural industry.
“We want to hear from entrepreneurial farmers who are in the mindset for change. They will already be thinking about the role of UK farmers in responding to the big global challenges around climate change, biodiversity, soil fertility, water scarcity and health and wellbeing. They will have the vision, commitment and determination to learn new skills, to embrace the very latest thinking and make change happen.”
The two selected farmers will undertake a three-year training programme to implement cutting edge sustainable farming techniques on their own businesses.
LEAF will offer access to some of the best sustainability experts in the businesses, technical support, training, resources and one-to-one mentoring. Depending on suitability and priorities, participating farmers will also be supported to become LEAF demonstration farmers, LEAF Marque certified and be given state of the art communications training to provide them with the know-how, skills and confidence to go on to become industry leaders in sustainable farming.
Alice added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for two visionary farmers. We are incredibly excited about tapping into raw talent, developing the leaders and thinkers of the future who will ultimately go on to become future champions of sustainable farming. We can’t wait to get started.”
Simon Parker, marketing manager at Corteva, said: “As a company that is rooted in innovation we believe in creating the environment for farm businesses to thrive, giving them the tools they need to flourish and prosper.
“UK agriculture is entering a new era and forward-thinking farmers will be looking at the opportunities that come from change. Corteva is really excited to be working with LEAF and we hope the project can be a catalyst for change.”
The search for participating farmers in the Resilient and Ready training programme starts this autumn.
Discovery events will be held in the Scottish Borders and the south of England where farmers will learn more about the project, speak to existing LEAF demonstration farmers and see sustainable farming practices in action.
The events take place on Friday 25 October at Bowhill Farming Ltd, Estate Office, Bowhill, Selkirk, TD7 5ES and on Friday 1 November at E W Davies Farms Ltd, The Hydes, Thaxted, Dunmow, Essex, CM6 3QB.
Farmers interested in applying will be required to complete an expression of interest form in the first instance. Shortlisted farmers will complete an application form which will be followed up with an interview. There is no age limit to apply.
Visit the LEAF website to find out more and to book on to a discovery event.