Sustainability is a word that means many things to many people.
For some farmers it is intrinsically linked to profitability. For others it has environmental connotations.
I’m also well aware that there are plenty of farmers who will switch off as soon as they hear it, so over-used has the mantra become.
Having grown up on and around my grandfather’s farm near Spalding, I learnt about sustainability the hard way.
After university I grew combinable crops and sugar beet for four years but soon realised that we didn’t have sufficient scale to make a living from it.
I needed to do something different. I trained as an agronomist and worked for a distributor to put my passion for science and farming into action advising producers on fertiliser, seeds and crop protection products.
In many ways UK agriculture is at the same crossroads I found myself at. The way we farm will have to evolve and adapt for businesses to prosper.
Subsidies and the structure of farms have the potential to change massively and modern farming practices need to evolve to keep pace.
We’re on the cusp of so many exciting developments in crop protection and seeds, and recognise the need for new and innovative technologies to help farmers become more sustainable, resilient and ready.
Digital agriculture will also have an important role to play, and I think it’s going to be really exciting to see what can be achieved when we start bringing these two together.
That’s why Corteva has partnered with Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF) to launch the Resilient and Ready Programme, providing a platform for farmers to learn sustainable farming practices from each other.
As part of our partnership, we’re looking for two forward-thinking farmers who are eager to move their businesses forward and become key players in accelerating change.
Two successful farmers will benefit from an extensive training programme tailored to their business and individual needs, working with both LEAF and its external partners with support from Corteva.
If you’re interested in becoming one of our farming champions, join us at one of our discovery events on 25 October in the Scottish Borders, and 1 November in Essex to hear from LEAF Demonstration Farmers about this exciting new training and professional development opportunity and how to apply.