The Myerscough College Ag Net Zero Challenge worked with farmers and growers to address “What about carbon?” The project has gone a long way to demystify carbon management for farmers and growers and provide solutions for individual businesses to reduce their carbon footprint whilst making efficiencies and improving productivity.
The project has also worked with wider industry stakeholders for example the finance sector, accountants, veterinary professionals, agronomists, academics to provide a wider industry response to support likeminded employers to reduce their carbon footprint.
This Agri Foodproject was led by Myerscough College, the only specialist land-based college in Lancashire. Myerscough College has engaged industry experts to ensure that the design and delivery of the project showcased the latest technology.
The overall aim of the Ag Net Zero Challenge project was to support farm businesses to take-up low carbon farming practices in line with the Government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050. We have provided young people and adults with enhanced learning and skills related to low carbon farming practices to support employability and career development.
The delivery of this project coincides with an agricultural transition period where the ‘basic payment scheme’ is being phased out over 7 years. This project has established a new Farmer Network in Lancashire to enable a platform to share the Myerscough College Ag Net Zero Challenge and the additional industry issues that farmers are challenged with.
This project delivered continual professional development to enable Further and Higher Education lecturers and work-based tutors at the college to increase their carbon management knowledge and skills.
The purchase of innovative capital equipment by the project has improved the teaching and learning at Myerscough College by giving learners access to demonstrations using the latest technology. Myerscough College has designed case studies incorporating the audit results and mitigation measures which have been used to develop curriculum and as part of the wider Landex group of colleges, we have ensured that case studies are shared with colleagues from the other Land based Colleges.
The Myerscough College Ag Net Zero Challenge has completed 10 carbon audits across 10 Lancashire farms. Each audit was from a typical Lancashire farm and of different farm types for example, average dairy, large dairy, finisher beef growing own forages, grower (lettuces/ tomatoes), pig, poultry, upland sheep, arable, mixed farming, large farm with peatland. The results were demonstrated at 5 Carbon Farm Roadshow (Knowledge Transfer Events) with each event following a similar format for example addressing, soil health, animal health, ruminant nutrition, resource management.
“Farmers are continually challenged with change and over many decades have demonstrated their response to adapt. Whilst climate change is a global problem farmers will embrace and respond to this challenge. Carbon accounting provides the agricultural industry with the tools to investigate their own greenhouse gas emissions and options to mitigate and reduce their carbon emissions.”