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Future proofing your business: Women farmers from across Europe to exchange experiences

Photo of Teleri Fielden in a Snowdonia landscape (credit: Teleri Fielden)
“This is a great opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of lived experience between new entrant and women farmers in different country contexts, in order to contribute to innovation uptake and agricultural sustainability across Europe”

Agricultural resilience is critical across Europe, but how can individual farms ensure they are ‘future proofed’? This question will be at the centre of an international online event to be held on Tuesday 21st September (8 – 9.15 pm), co-hosted by Women in Agriculture Scotland and the EU-funded NEFERTITI and NEWBIE research projects, both supported by the James Hutton Institute.

This interactive evening webinar brings together leading female farmers from across Europe to share their experiences and perspectives on ‘future proofing’ farming enterprises. Speakers from Norway, Germany, Wales, and Scotland will describe their route into agriculture as new entrants, how they manage their farming businesses, and the actions that they are taking to support farm resilience. Examples include innovative direct sales initiatives, as well as low carbon farming through soil and grazing management.

The final part of the webinar will involve a discussion between the speakers and based on audience questions regarding the common ground between the different farming communities across Europe, what concerns may feature in the future of European agriculture, and how best these may be overcome for the sustainability of the industry.

Audience members will be invited to share their thoughts on the future of agriculture in Europe.

The webinar is part of Women in Agriculture Scotland’s ‘educate, inspire and inform’ events calendar. The NEFERTITI project supports farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange to encourage young people to see farming as a future and worthwhile career. The NEWBIE project aims to support and facilitate opportunities for new entrants by demonstrating innovative business and entry models.

June Geyer, chair of Women in Agriculture Scotland, who is co-chairing the webinar with Dr Annie McKee from the James Hutton Institute, said: “This webinar offers a unique opportunity to hear first-hand what challenges and opportunities female farmers in other countries face. Their farming systems do differ slightly from ours, but there are many lessons to be learned in how they overcome their barriers.”

Dr McKee added: “This is a great opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of lived experience between new entrant and women farmers in different country contexts, in order to contribute to innovation uptake and agricultural sustainability across Europe.”

To register for this Zoom event, please visit https://bit.ly/FutureProofingWiAS.

Notes to editors

Speakers in this webinar will include:

  • Harriet Ross, a new entrant farmer in Aberdeenshire. Along with her partner Ben Lowe, Harriet took on the tenancy of Newseat of Dumbreck farm near Udny in summer 2019. Harriet and Ben have just taken over the running of Harriet's parents farm and purchased a neighbouring pig farm. They farm almost 1000 acres (400ha) of combinable crops, a pig enterprise, as well as many other interesting aspects to their new farming enterprise. In 2020, Harriet and Ben were selected for the LEAF ‘Resilient and Ready’ programme, promoting sustainable agriculture. Harriet is currently a shortlisted finalist for the 2021 Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year award.
  • Anja Hradetzky, born in 1987, married, and with two children, started her ‘Proud Cow’ Farm together with her husband in 2014. It is located north-east of Berlin on the Polish border. They lease 250ha and own 170 dual-purpose, heritage breed animals that graze the whole year round. The cows raise their calves, and all the animals keep their horns. All the milk is processed on the farm and sold directly. It is certified organic and ‘Demeter’ (bio-dynamic). Anja is a trainer for low-stress cattle handling and she mentors young people who want to become farmers. She is author of the book "How I travelled the world as a cowgirl and became a farmer without having money and land" and is active in many rural activities.
  • Sissel Langørgen runs a small farm in central Norway. She manages 50 acres (20 hectares) of cropland and 50 acres (20 hectares) of forest. Her milk quota is 90 tons and she has 12-15 Norwegian Red cows. She has just established a small farm dairy, where she produces pasteurised milk and yogurt. Sissel’s farm is a certified ‘Green Care’ farm, and she also sells her potato harvest directly to consumers. Sissel is part of the administration team for a REKO-ring in Trondheim, an innovative online route to connect farmers and consumers. This is a key feature of future-proofing her farming business.
  • Teleri Fielden is a first-generation farmer who farms in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. Nine months ago, Teleri and her partner were successful in tendering for a 10-year tenancy on a 100-acre (40 hectare) National Trust owned farm, alongside a further 90 acres of hill and woodland they rent locally. Their business model is still developing as the tenancy is in its infancy, but they are focusing on nature-friendly farming, and using their cattle and sheep to enhance biodiversity through creating flower rich meadows, hedgerows, woodland pasture and managing molina grass on the uplands. They sell beef and lamb boxes direct to customers under the brand "Snowdonia Shepherdess" and 'Biodiversity Beef'. Both she and her husband work off-farm, Teleri as a Policy Officer for the Farmers' Union of Wales, and Ned as the Snowdonia Footpath Team coordinator for the National Trust. They have plans to develop agri-tourism on the farm to improve profitability and further engage the public in farming.

This @WIAScot webinar is organised in conjunction with the @NewbieUK and @NewbieUK projects.

The name NEFERTITI reflects the full project title: ‘Networking European Farms to Enhance Cross Fertilisation and Innovation Uptake Through Demonstration’. Further information about the NEFERTITI project can be found on its website or via the NEFERTITI Scottish Hub Facebook page.

Meanwhile NEWBIE stands for: New Entrant netWork: Business models for Innovation, entrepreneurship and resilience in European agriculture and it offers a unique platform by bringing together new entrants, successors, advisors, researchers, important regional and national actors and relevant stakeholders in national networks through activities including storytelling videos, annual awards, international exchanges and discussion circles. Further information about the NEWBIE project can be found at www.newbie-academy.eu or via the NEFERTITI UK Twitter account: @NewbieUK.

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/future-proofing-your-business-women-farmers-across-europe-exchange-experiences on 28/10/21 12:13:37 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.