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Nature-friendly farmers step into the limelight

By David Porter

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The Soil Association Scotland has announced nine successful applicants from Scotland to its Farmer Ambassador programme including Louise Munro from Mossend near Hatton.

Louise Munro
Louise Munro

The UK-wide Soil Association programme will train a total of 24 ambassadors in smartphone video production and storytelling, so they can invite the public, policy makers and other farmers virtually onto their farms and showcase the benefits of nature- and climate-friendly farming.

Soil Association Scotland director Aoife Behan says: “Scotland’s farmers and crofters are a vital part of the solution to the challenges of climate change, nature loss and ill-health we all face.

"By producing food in ways that nurture people, the environment and the rural economy, they meet those challenges head-on.

"We want to give those farmers the tools to show people how they do it.

“We are proud to welcome such a brilliant, diverse bunch into the programme, and look forward to seeing and sharing what they produce after the training in October.”

New ambassador Louise farms along with her husband Stuart having been successful in receiving government funding for new entrants and young farmers.

She explained: "We farm 49ha, 10 ha of this is arable, cropped as spring barley abd then green manure the following year to enhance biodiversity within the agri environment climate scheme.

"The remainder is all grassland, split between wafer grazed grassland, species rich grassland and corn bunting grass which is grazed by our livestock.

"Aside from the farm, I am a self employed rural consultant which means throughout my clients farms as well as our own I am focusing on maximising potential and profit with arable and livestock as well as focusing on improving wildlife habitats, ecosystems and encouraging new species onto farms.

She continued: "I wanted to become a farmer ambassador because I feel it’s important to show the link between British farming, nature and wildlife - how we incorporate certain farming practices to help work towards a greener future and assist with climate change.

"Whether it’s speaking to the general public or to other farmers, sharing experiences and practices is very useful because they may not have implemented them or have other techniques and practices.

"I feel it’s important to show the link from field to form, the importance of eating brutish produce, how our standards are higher than all other countries."

Training will take place online with journalist and broadcaster Anna Jones and filmmaker Alex Price of Just Farmers, and the group will receive support from each other and the Soil Association.

For more information visit https://bit.ly/HelloAmbassadors

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