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08.10.03
The Grassland Challenge Project launch

The launch of the Grassland Challenge Project based at Duchy College Stoke Climsland took place on Friday, 10th October.

Representatives from the Cornish Grassland Societies, DEFRA, Objective One and Project sponsors BOCM, Ethos, Cornwall Farmers Ltd and Hydro Fertilizers were welcomed to the College by the Principal, Mr S Parsons. County Head of Agriculture, Keith Barriball, one of the main players in obtaining funding for the project, outlined the aims and objectives and described the project as a "wonderful example of partnership activity, with a hugely positive opportunity to improve the well being, sustainability and competitiveness of our livestock producers". Dr Bob Clements, Vice Principal of IGER North Wyke, partners in the project, spoke of their commitment to ensure that research carried out by the Institute should find its way into farming practice resulting in a more competitive and better quality of life. Ian Davey, Chairman of the Cornish Grassland Societies, underlined the importance of farmers taking up the opportunities presented by the Project now that the funding had been obtained on their behalf.

Guest of Honour for the day was Mr. Will Taylor, President of the British Grassland Society. He spoke about the project being "a powerful driver for change" and described it as a "unique partnership". He hoped that it would be "the forerunner of similar initiatives throughout the country, because it reinforces the message that grass is one of our greatest natural assets within these Islands."

Mr and Mrs Trevor Bray hosted the event in the afternoon at Hackthorne Farm, Marhamchurch. Extension Officers Kate Allingham and Laura Biddick held their first Focus Group meetings with Bude Grassland Society members divided into Dairy and Beef discussion groups. Topics for future discussion were suggested and members highlighted areas of concern within their enterprises for the Officers to look into.

The project team is looking forward to developing more focus groups from the members of the remaining Cornish Grassland Societies but would also like to encourage other farmers or groups of farmers in Cornwall to contact them. The telephone number is 01579 372295.

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Editor's notes:

 

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Jason Clark
Communications Adviser
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
objectiveone@cornwall.gov.uk

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