Professor Dianna Bowles, Chair of the Advisory Group of the new Farmer Scientist Network of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), summarises the context of the Network and how it will work to benefit farmers and the rural environment.
The YAS has a track record of innovative strategies to support British farming and funds a substantial grant and education portfolio. With its large national membership, networks and reputation for supporting excellence in agriculture, the Society is ideally placed to provide a gateway of information flow between the farming community and the research community of scientists and technologists.
The latest initiative is the setting up of the Farmer-Scientist Network – and a new opportunity for farmers and scientists to talk with one another. There are many new technologies and scientific breakthroughs to benefit agriculture, whether the livestock or arable sectors. Through meeting and discussions, emerging problems facing farmers can be raised, solutions suggested and opportunities for innovation identified.
The new Network has an Advisory Group of farmers and scientists to steer its activities. These have proven track records of expertise and success that they can bring to the discussions, as well as extensive and broad ranging contacts in their own sectors of activity throughout the UK and beyond.
As opportunities for actions and problems needing solutions become identified, an Advisory Group member in the relevant sector will assemble a specialised team of relevant expertise to address the issues. The team could involve business expertise, technologists, researchers or any specialists needed to benefit the discussions, design a creative way forward and go out to gain funding to make change happen.
We look forward to working closely with the science and farming communities and helping to ensure sustainable productivity for agriculture in the years to come.
For further information on the network see http://www.farmerscientistnetwork.co.uk/