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Taking Stock: free resilience workshops for livestock farmers

Free resilience workshops to help prepare for changes to farm support as we leave the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Soil Association is hosting Taking Stock, a programme of free online workshops for beef and lamb producers in the South West to help prepare for the coming changes and opportunities as we leave the Common Agricultural Policy.

The first part of the programme, which is funded by Defra, is a 90 minute webinar that will cover:

  1. Is it all about the money? How the proposed changes to payments to farmers and land managers are being implemented by Defra and how their phasing out will affect farm businesses.
  2. Public money for public goods. We’ll cover what Defra currently consider to be a public good so farmers can be rewarded for what they already provide, and assess what practices to adopt to evidence it.
  3. Getting to grips with ELM. We’ll outline how the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is likely to work and what is different from current payment schemes.
  4. Animal health and welfare pathway – find out about grants available for livestock farmers and ways in which livestock can help in delivery of public goods.
  5. Taking Stock - a chance to ask questions about the planned changes.

The first webinar takes place on 1 July from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm. To get involved, sign up for the programme here.

Workshop Details

Farmers can then take part in a series of themed workshops to explore in more detail some of the topics touched on during part one.

The workshops take place throughout the coming months and focus on animal health planning, benefits of agroforestry, familiarising with the proposals for ELM and grazing management.

Subject to COVID-19 restrictions, the online programme will be followed by face to face meetings in the autumn in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.

Environmental Benefits

The programme offers a practical way for farmers to explore the challenges, impacts & opportunities of the upcoming changes and boost their businesses resilience and respond to the climate emergency through the delivery of environmental benefits.

Liz Bowles, Head of Farming at the Soil Association said: “Farmers across the country are facing huge changes to farming policy – and with that, huge uncertainties. These workshops are a critical opportunity for beef and sheep farmers to come together to ensure that not only are they ready to weather these changes – but that they are able to thrive under the new legislation. The time to prepare is now.”

The workshops will explore what the proposed changes mean for individual livestock businesses, and support farmers to develop a seven-year plan.

We are able to offer one on one support alongside the opportunity to connect with other farmers to consider potential opportunities for collaboration, businesses and the local economy.

If you are a beef and lamb producers in the South West, register for this webinar to prepare for changes and opportunities once the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy. This is a pilot project, focussed on the South West. However, if you are based elsewhere, you are still welcome to join.