The Grassland Challenge Project
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.
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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