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    “The journey towards sustainable food production has begun. What we need now is national coordination of demonstration farms  to share and develop our knowledge – a network of networks. Together we’ll create an exemplar for the UK and the world.”

    Simon Thelwell, Director 
    School of Sustainable Food & Farming

    The Application of Science to Realise the Potential of the Agricultural Transition Report was published in November 2022, its remit was to explore why the United Kingdom (UK) has lagged other nations in productivity and innovation. The group concluded that a key factor is fragmentation at all stages in the delivery of scientific knowledge which is impacting the sector’s ability to advance agricultural production, achieve carbon net-zero and enhance other sustainability parameters (e.g., biodiversity, animal welfare, ‘rural levelling-up’). Two of the key recommendations from this report focused on the network of Demonstration Farms that exist in the UK:

    1. While in-person, facilitated peer-to-peer events at monitor/demonstration farms should continue to be an important part of the extension effort, the tools of interactive electronic communication should also be harnessed to help farmers in developing their knowledge.
    2. National co-ordination of demonstration farms throughout the UK should be encouraged. These farms are currently managed within the ecosystems of various agricultural innovation and technology organisations.

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