Seeking better rural futures

Published Monday, 12th March 2018 in Research news

Rural scotland 11
Torridon village, with Liathach in the background. Credit Chris Hoskins.

Joint workshop will look at shared rural challenges in Scotland and Ireland.

Recognising the similar rural challenges faced by Scotland and Ireland, not least those posed by Brexit, SRUC and Tegasc (the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority) have joined forces to identify solutions that support resilient and innovative rural economies.

The two organisations will continue their close collaboration at a joint conference in Edinburgh, entitled Rural Futures, on Tuesday 13 March. The aim is to discuss adaptation to key challenges, with a focus on socio-economic approaches, farming systems, and innovation in areas including livestock productivity, data in dairy farming and behavioural change.

Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will provide a keynote presentation on key challenges for rural sectors

Delegates will consider the New Zealand experience, with a keynote presentation from Dr Liz Wedderburn, Assistant Research Director, AgResearch.  

A Scottish Government perspective will be provided by Mr David Barnes, National Adviser on Agricultural Policy. He will focus on development of agricultural policy post Brexit. 

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC said: “This is a timely meeting focusing on the rural economy at a point when we are going through massive changes in the expectations of government, farmers, industry and society more generally as to how we use our land to deliver a range of both public and private goods. Behavioural and culture change alongside the adoption of new disruptive science and technology will be of paramount importance.  SRUC stands ready and willing to lead and  help all our stakeholders through this period of dramatic change.”

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