New knowledge exchange programme to challenge farmer thinking

AHDB’S BEEF & Lamb team has unveiled its innovative systems-based Knowledge Exchange Programme, Roots to Resilience, which will challenge farmers to stop thinking in black and white and unlock their full potential.

This systems-based approach recognises that agriculture is not just about individual people, crops or livestock but involves a multitude of factors, relationships, and feedback loops that influence each other and the entire system.

Head of Engagement for beef and lamb, Samantha Charlton said, “It can be challenging for farmers to focus on the future and invest in themselves when their time and brain space is filled with daily tasks and problem solving. We want to challenge their thinking and help them reach their long-term goals by looking at the entire system instead of focussing on technical application alone. We understand that every farmer and every farm is different, and that one size fits all approaches are outdated and rarely successful.”

The new programme kicks off with a three-day workshop for up to 50 farmers running from 13 to 15 December in Sutton Coldfield, incorporating part of the renowned Ranch Management Consultants (RMC) “Ranching for Profit” course which will be presented by RMC owner Dallas Mount. Dallas has worked with thousands of farmers & ranchers across the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia to position their businesses for economic profit and ecological health.

Attendees will be able to develop a bespoke action plan for their farm businesses, which will include identifying worry areas to address, communication at home and within the business, the establishment of clear goals and a shared vision for attendees, their families, and their businesses. They will also be able to take part in four quarterly virtual “Check-in” sessions in 2024 with Dallas, where he will continue to support them on their journeys to healthy land, happy families and profitable businesses.

A two-day workshop will also run for industry consultants ahead of the farmer-specific session from 11 to 12 December, focussing on developing their understanding of the new systems-based approach and discussing how they will work with the involved farmers and AHDB to motivate positive change.

Charlton said, “The farmer workshop in December will give delegates the opportunity to step away from practical farming for three days and focus on long-term planning. It is very much about focussing on people and what they want to achieve not just in their businesses, but in their lives, as we know how intrinsically linked the two are.

“The workshop will play a pivotal role in not only providing those attending with bespoke action plans for their businesses, but in equipping us at AHDB with greater insight into the topics that our levy payers want and need more help with, so we can deliver the best value for money in terms of the support services we offer.”

Find out more about the Roots to Resilience programme

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