When we heard about what Corteva and LEAF were aiming to do with their Resilient and Ready programme we wanted to find out more.
Resilient is a word I like.
We have been farming in our own right for a decade and the challenges thrown at us by the weather, markets, governments and the economy have become the norm rather than the exception.
Everything we have done on the farm is, in one way or another, designed for us to become resilient for the future.
And ready. We want to be ready for anything, although as this year’s global pandemic has shown us, that is pretty much impossible.
But there are steps we can take to make sure we are ready for the opportunities and challenges that farming and food production brings.
In order for us to be successful, we want to know everything we can about our farm and the markets we operate in. That’s why we were thrilled to be selected for the programme.
One of the key drivers for applying was to examine our environmental sustainability as a business.
In particular, we want to learn about the wildlife on our farm and take a closer look at our carbon footprint.
In our business the carbon conversation is already happening with our customers. We need to be in a place where we can quantify what our carbon footprint is and at the moment we can’t put our hand on our hearts and say that we know.
We need to be far more clued up about what carbon we’re producing. Then the challenge will be looking at opportunities to offset it.
I would also like our business to become more joined up and integrated. We have cattle, pigs and poultry which work well individually but there could be some major wins for us if they can work together better.
I’d be excited to explore the scope for the different parts of our business to work in tandem to increase both profitability and sustainability.
We’re really looking forward to being part of the programme. We have already met the other Aberdeenshire couple involved in the programme and I think we will learn from each other as we go along.
Wherever you look – animal welfare, the environment, trade deals, consumer demand – things are moving and they are moving fast, so we are keen to get going.
· Farming in Aberdeenshire
· 160ha farm
· 72,000 free range and enriched colony laying hens
· 150 bulling heifers
· 2,000 pig place finishing unit