Four young farmers and crofters have been appointed to champion a cultural and behavioural shift towards low-carbon, environmentally sustainable farming in Scotland.
The Young Farmer Climate Change Champions will work through peer-to-peer learning to highlight how farmers can improve efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce costs, and enhance the sustainability of their businesses.
Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon made the announcement, which was a Programme for Government commitment, while visiting one of the champions’ croft in the Cairngorms.
Ms Gougeon said:
“We want farmers and crofters to move towards a more profitable, low-carbon, environmentally sustainable future, adapting to the changing climate and securing business viability for future generations.
“It’s great to see so many examples of young farmers leading the way when it comes to tackling climate change, and embracing the kind of on farm practices we need to see replicated across the industry. That’s why I have asked the four champions to engage with their peers to highlight good practice and some of the actions they have taken to increase sustainability, protect our natural environment, and reduce costs and emissions on their farms and crofts.
“By driving this shift towards low-carbon, environmentally sustainable farming, the four champions will demonstrate the benefits of reducing the use of certain fertilisers, reduce the intensity of our meat production, and encourage the uptake of carbon sequestration through working with the natural environment on their farms and crofts. This is a really exciting initiative, which I look forward to seeing develop and prosper in the months ahead.”
Climate Change Champions are Aimee and Kirsty Budge (Bigton farm, Shetland); Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer (Lynbreck Croft, Cairngorms); Robert Fleming (Castle Sinniness Farm, Galloway); and Bryce Cunningham (Mossgiel Farm, Ayrshire).