LEAF extends its knowl­edge exchange capa­bil­i­ties through link up with Rotham­st­ed Research

Lead­ing sus­tain­able farm­ing organ­i­sa­tion, LEAF (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing) and Rotham­st­ed Research have announced they are to fur­ther strength­en their strate­gic part­ner­ship to accel­er­ate the sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge exchange around more sus­tain­able, regen­er­a­tive farm­ing systems.

Rothamsted Research, situated on a 400-hectare site in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, becomes the latest site to join LEAF’s Network of Innovation Centres and Demonstration Farms which include some of the UK’s leading research establishments and most progressive farmers. Together, they are leading the way in providing the scientific evidence around the impact of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) and ensuring it works at farm level. Rothamsted’s North Wyke site, specialising in sustainable grazing livestock systems, has been a LEAF Innovation Centre since 2015.

Speaking at the launch today, Philip Wynn, Chairman of LEAF said:

“Rothamsted is a vibrant hub for global science, underpinned by history, innovation, and fresh thinking, working across different scales and disciplines to improve crop and livestock performance, resilience, and value. We are honoured to be forging even closer links with them at this crucial time for agriculture and hugely excited about the opportunities this partnership will offer our members and the wider farming community to access the latest research, ideas, and innovations to advance more resilient global farming and food systems.

Science holds the key to confront the big farming challenges of today – both nationally and internationally. As we look to build more robust, regenerative, and resilient farming approaches, based on sound science and practical application, a problem-orientated, outcome driven science approach, firmly rooted to the needs of farmers is critical.

The role of the LEAF Network could not be more important at this time. We look forward to building on our partnership with Rothamsted to help inform, inspire and equip farmers with the tools, know-how and confidence to realise their sustainable farming ambitions.”

Professor Angela Karp, director and CEO of Rothamsted Research added,

“Partnerships, innovation, public engagement, and knowledge exchange are woven into our new science strategy. By working with both public and private sector partners our aim is to turn excellent research into impactful outcomes with sustainable impacts. Extending our collaboration with LEAF signals a major step in driving forward the uptake of more integrated, holistic approaches to crop and livestock farming.

“It will better enable our wide-ranging research to reach farmers on the ground – from gene to field. It is partnerships such as this that will help accelerate the capabilities of farmers to raise the productivity of their crop and livestock systems, tackle weed, disease and insect resistance, improve soil health, enhance natural capital, and reduce their carbon and nutrient footprint. Developing closer ties between researchers and practitioners will refine and improve performances for both. We are extremely honoured to become a LEAF Innovation Centre and, alongside our North Wyke site, look forward to the opportunities it will bring to advance fresh, dynamic, and responsive approaches to knowledge development and exchange that are aligned with the needs of farmers.”

Rothamsted Research was launched as a LEAF Innovation Centre on the 1st September 2022. It joins 14 other LEAF Innovation Centres – Agrii Throws Farm Technology Centre, Bangor University, Bayer Crop Science, the University of Reading’s Centre for Dairy Research, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Harper Adams University, The James Hutton Institute, Newcastle University Farms, NIAB EMR, Rothamsted Research North Wyke, The Royal Agricultural University, SRUC’s The Dairy Cattle Research and Innovation Centre, SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, and Stockbridge Technology Centre.

More information about Rothamsted Research and the LEAF Network can be found here

Our grateful thanks to Oliver Landpower for supporting the launch event.