Understanding dimensions of farm resilience

SURE-Farm partners visited a demonstration cattle farm in la Sierra de Guadarrama

Achieving resilience of the agricultural sector must surely be an important goal for British agricultural policy amidst the uncertainty of what the future holds for UK farming.

Researchers from the CCRI are working with a team of European scientists to develop a novel resilience-enabling framework that can support policy makers and the farming sector to enhance the sustainability and resilience of farms and farming systems.

Julie Urquhart and Mauro Vigani were in Madrid between 16th – 20th April for a Sure Farm partner meeting, which included qualitative research methods training for understanding dimensions of farm resilience across 11 case studies in Europe.

Julie provided training sessions for partners on qualitative methods and also specific training for a learning capacity task that will be undertaken in the case studies. The task involves understanding the barriers and opportunities for farmer learning, recognising that learning is an important component in resilience building.  These activities will take place between now and December.

Over the two days, Julie and Mauro also met with their co-creation members, who are representatives from industry and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, who provided useful insights to inform the development of the project. The partners also visited a cattle farm in the Sierra de Guadarrama, which acts as a demonstration farm for new breeding techniques which local farmers can learn from. Spain is the European Union’s fifth largest producer of beef and the Guadarrama mountain range plays a big role in the production, housing almost a third of Spain’s suckler-cows.

The CCRI SURE-Farm researchers are Dr Mauro Vigani, Dr Julie UrquhartDr Damian MayeProfessor Paul Courtney and Dr Rob Berry.

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Find out more about SURE-Farm in the video below: