After growing up on a mixed sheep, beef and arable farm in Northumberland, I studied Zoology at Newcastle University. I then spent two years working in environmental education in the UK and USA, before returning to Newcastle to complete an MSc in Agriculture and Environmental Science.
I have always struggled to define sustainable agriculture. I even based my MSc dissertation project on quantifying farm-level sustainability; I compared the sustainability of organic and conventional agriculture on Newcastle University’s split farm - where 50% of the farm is farmed organically and 50% farmed conventionally. My results were pretty inconclusive however!
I am constantly reviewing my stance on what it means to be sustainable as I understand the science and practise more. My previous role with AHDB Beef & Lamb led me to pasture-based beef and lamb production. I believe there is great opportunity in the UK for beef and sheep farmers to utilise pasture and home-grown forages more.
Now, after 18 months in New Zealand working for a farm software company (FARMAX LTD) that facilitates pastoral farmer decision-making, I am looking forward to starting work with SAC Consulting as a Sheep Consultant.
Following reading this, it must be quite clear why I was drawn to volunteer with Agricology - ‘Practical, sustainable farming regardless of labels’. Plus, as I summarise the resources for the website, I am kept abreast of all the latest guidance material!