New “Beacon” farm network to shine a light on sustainable agriculture
50 beef, dairy and sheep farms from across Northern Ireland are taking part in a new project to carry out field research into sustainable livestock farming systems that address the climate change challenge and deliver for people, planet and profit.
Launched by farmer-funded research body AgriSearch, the Beacon Farm Network will benchmark carbon sequestration on-farm, quantify the benefit of ecosystem services delivered by farmers, and encourage the development of innovative, resilient and sustainable farm systems.
AgriSearch Chairman Seamus McCaffrey said it is important for farming to demonstrate how it can be part of the solution to environmental challenges. “Government carbon reduction targets will require action from all parts of industry and society as a whole, and farmers want to play their part,” Seamus said.
“Beef, dairy and sheep farmers are facing the major challenge of continuing to produce high quality and affordable food to a growing population, while minimising their carbon footprint and environmental impact. Our network of “Beacon” farms will shine a light on farms that are leading the way in developing cutting edge, innovative farm systems, and provide valuable data for research into sustainable food production.
“Our aim is to demonstrate to farmers, industry, policymakers and the wider community how farming systems can fit together for people and the planet, while delivering financially sustainable farm businesses. I would like to thank the farmers who have agreed to join us as we embark on this exciting project.”
More information on the Beacon Farm project can be found on the AgriSearch website www.agrisearch.org