04 JULY 2024

Grosvenor Farms hosts top UK regenerative farming event

The UK’s leading regenerative livestock farming event Down to Earth, educating the industry on transitioning to a more sustainable system, was hosted by Grosvenor Farms on Wednesday.

The event, which took place at Lea Manor Farm, Cheshire, was attended by more than 1,300 visitors and included renowned speakers, industry leaders as well as over 50 exhibitors. 

Mark Roach, Managing Director, Grosvenor Farms, said: We were delighted to host the UK’s top regenerative agriculture event. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to bring so many of our industry colleagues together and showcase why we’re one of the UK’s leading dairy and arable farms, producing high-quality foods in a commercially and environmentally sustainable way. "

The programme began with an introduction from Robert Craig, Chairman of event organisers the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) – the UK charity supporting milk producers – whose welcome notes described Grosvenor Farms as “one of the finest examples of modern dairy farming in the country” as well as President Allan Wilkinson, who said the event was an opportunity to see one of the “most progressive dairy business in the country”.

Throughout the day there was a series of speakers including a panel conversation featuring David Craven, Dairy Manager; Charlier Steer, Arable Manager; and Professor John Gilliand, a farmer from Northern Ireland, Professor of Practice in Agriculture and Sustainability at Queens University Belfast and special advisor to the UK’s Agriculture Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). 

Professor Gilliand spoke of “the importance of recording data in managing reputation” and how “knowing your numbers” enables farmers and the wider industry to “tell a positive environmental story with integrity and transparency”. He went on to tell the audience that Grosvenor Farms had done “exceptionally well” and is “a leading example of bringing your carbon footprint down while increasing profit”.

The panel closed with each speaker offering a take-home message, Dave Craven reaffirming the importance of data and evidence-based insights and Charlie Steer adding, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. 

Mark Roach was next to take to the Main Stage, presenting an overview of Grosvenor Farms' activities, its journey to date, and aspirations to become net zero by 2030, as well as how they plan to achieve their ambitions by driving improved feed digestion from more efficient use of feed, improved genetics and focussing on their waste streams. 

Other speakers at the event included ruminant nutrition consultant Adrian Packington on practical approaches to reducing dairy emissions, Richard Collins, Head of Agriculture, Muller, and Natalie Smith, Head of Agriculture, Tesco, on achieving the deliverables of a milk contract with a high input housed system, and Dr Anna Sutcliffe, Ruminant Technical Manager at AB Dairy, on feed efficiency for the future. 

Other stations across the farm included talks on biodiversity and soils, genetics and feed efficiency as well as renewables. 

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