Innovative Farmers has been launched as part of the Soil Association’s Duchy Future Farming Programme, which supports British farmers – both organic and non-organic – to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing agriculture.
Innovative Farmers supports these aims by bringing together people involved in agriculture to share information about more sustainable ways of farming.
Many farmers would like to try new methods but doing so can be difficult when going it alone. Innovative Farmers gives you the opportunity to access practical, professional support and to compare notes and team up with other farmers, so you can feel confident in trying out new ideas. The organisation also provides access to exclusive farmer-friendly funding opportunities, with more than £800,000 set aside for groups of Innovative Farmers by 2020.
For agricultural researchers, Innovative Farmers can make it easier for you to work with practicing farmers and track the impact of your research. Current research topics include managing weeds without herbicides, reducing antibiotic use in dairy production and improving disease resistance in potatoes. This close connection with farmers provides an insight into what concerns them most and what their priorities are.
Innovative Farmers is also open to other advisors and businesses, who will receive benefits that are specific to them. Members of the network will be able to join groups, meet other farmers, take part in field labs and access findings. The organisation is currently offering a launch discount of 50% if you join before 15th December 2015. Alternatively, you can stay informed about what is happening within the network by registering for updates.
Photograph: Kyle Spradley
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