Fertile Ground

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Farming in the UK continues to experience challenges. The pressure to increase efficiency, whilst input costs rise and policies and support structures change, lead many farmers to question how their farms will fit into the farming sector of tomorrow. The National Farmers Network - an Oxfam partner - supports low income farmers all over the UK to improve the sustainability of their farming businesses, mainly through encouraging collaboration between farmers. This publication highlights good practice in the work of farmers with community-led support organisations around the UK.
  A pt highlighng, rgh ce udi  gd pracce,  befs  fms wkg ger, wh examps   pt  c be play by fm  couny d sut gns. Fune by  A report highlighting, through case studies of good practice, the bene󿬁ts of farmers working together, with examples of the part that can be played by farmer and community led support organisations. Fune by  Acknowdgemts  This publication has been produced by the National Farmers Network. It was written by Val Ponder and edited by Carol Evans and Ann Hindley, and was 󿬁rst published in October 2012.We would like to thank the following individuals who provided information for the case studies included in this publication:Paul Harper – The Farmer Network LtdWill Scale & Simon Chiles – The No-Till AllianceJamie Gwatkin – The Joint Venture Farming groupChris Jones & John Turner - Pasture-Fed Livestock AssociationLucy Jenkins – The Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support ServiceJulia Cook – The Farming Life CentreDavid Slater – The Churches Regional Commission for Yorkshire and the HumberAlison Twiddy – Lincolnshire Rural Stress Network Finally, our thanks go to Oxfam for funding this publication. However, the views expressed in the report are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of Oxfam. Fur Copi For an online copy of this report please visit: www.nationalfarmersnetwork.org.uk  . Alternatively, if you would like further hard copies for distribution please email Val Ponder on valponder@btconnect.com Nnal Fms Netwk  The National Farmers Network is a network of local farmer groups, organisations and networks across England. They come together to exchange ideas and good practice. These are challenging times for farmers and family farmers are the most likely to be affected. But we believe that by working together we can bring about positive changes to farming livelihoods and work towards a thriving family farming sector. Oxfam Oxfam has been working to end poverty in the UK since 1996. We develop projects with people in poverty to enable them to improve their lives and have a say in the decisions that affect them; we raise public awareness of poverty to create the pressure that is necessary for change; and we lobby government for policies that tackle the root causes of poverty. Although most of our work focuses on poverty in urban areas, we have been working on poverty amongst hill farmers since 2003.  Ctts 1347912151620232528 IntroductionFarmer-led groups The Farmer Network The No-Till AllianceThe Joint Venture Farming GroupThe Pasture Fed Livestock Association Farmer Support Groups Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support ServiceFarming Life CentreChurches Regional Commission for Yorkshire and HumberLincolnshire Rural Stress Network  Key Lessons and Recommendations
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