Ag Net-Zero Challenge

Myerscough College is leading a multi-million-pound bid from The Lancashire Colleges as part of the Skills Accelerator programme – an innovative Department for Education scheme designed to support work with employers and develop skills linked exclusively towards carbon reduction.

The Skills Accelerator Programme

The Skills Accelerator Programme includes a net-zero project with Myerscough at the forefront of delivery. The Myerscough College Ag Net-Zero Challenge works with local farmers and growers to address “What about carbon?”.   This challenge attempts to demystify carbon management for individual businesses by providing solutions, making efficiencies, and improving productivity while reducing their carbon footprint.

Myerscough is working collaboratively on several projects within the Skills Accelerator Programme. They include motor vehicle technology partnerships with Blackburn College, digital innovations with Runshaw college and partnering up Lancaster & Morecambe College for sustainable energy initiatives.

CARBON AUDITS

The Myerscough College Ag Net Zero Challenge is completing ten carbon audits across various farm types in Lancashire. These audits demonstrate where the carbon emissions are occurring and the necessary mitigation measures to reduce them.

cARBON FARM ROADSHOWS

Myerscough will also deliver five Carbon Farm Roadshows and present the results of the audits to groups of Lancashire farmers and include:

INNOVATION IN AGRICULTURE

Including drones for checking livestock, robotic silage pushers, and automatic calf feeders.

A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Where farmers collaborate with Morrisons to produce beef and lamb from net-zero farms.

PEATLAND RESTORATION

To improve carbon sequestration.

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN BUILDINGS

For example, a calf house that improves animal welfare and a potato store built to deliver maximum efficiencies in drying capabilities.

The purchase of innovative capital equipment enables teaching and learning at Myerscough College to be demonstrated by using the latest technology. Myerscough College has case studies incorporating the audit results and mitigation measures which is used to develop curriculum and as part of the wider Landex group of colleges.  All case studies are shared with other Land based Colleges. 

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER EXCHANGE

An employer forum with stakeholders from the agricultural industry, including financiers, veterinary practitioners, agronomists, and nutritionists, has been created to discuss the wider carbon management issues. 

In addition, a demonstration event will be held at Myerscough College’s Lodge Farm. With knowledge transfer being key, we set Lodge Farm up as a demonstrator farm at the beginning of the project. Capital equipment was purchased to demonstrate how farmers and growers can manage their carbon emissions. We will be sharing the impact of key measures presented throughout the project. 

The Ag Net-Zero Challenge offers continual professional development to enable lecturers from FE (Further Education), HE (Higher Education), and work-based delivery to be upskilled in carbon management.

 

AHDB Dairy: Managing soils for a sustainable future

With the UK Government’s plan to replace Single Farm Payments with new Sustainable Farming Incentives, the environment will become central to all farms over the next few years. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to make the environment a primary focus area within your business plan.
In this episode James Hague, Knowledge Exchange Manager for AHDB Dairy, is joined by Ruari Martin, Farm Director at Myerscough College in Lancashire, part of our strategic dairy farm programme. Ruari discusses how he’s working to improve his soil health to produce as much energy and protein as possible for feed, but also encourage carbon sequestration.

Let’s talk agriculture: Sustainability and carbon management

In this episode Oliver McEntyre, our National Agricultural Strategy Director, is joined by Andrea Gardner, Head of Agricultural Projects at Myerscough College, to discuss the Skills Accelerator programme and how they’ve been delivering it across Lancashire through the Myerscough College Ag Net Zero Challenge. Make money work for you.

Government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050

This project aims to support farm businesses with low carbon farming practises in line with the Government’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050. The delivery of this programme coincides with the current agricultural transition seven-year phasing out period of the basic payment scheme. 

If you are interested in finding out more about Myerscough’s Ag Net-Zero Challenge

Please contact Andrea Gardner, Head of Agricultural Projects at Myerscough College.

“Our vision is to collaborate with local farmers and engage with consumers / supermarkets to supply beef and lamb from carbon neutral farms.” 
Graham Bancroft
Westall Farms, Burnley (6400 acres including 3500 acres peat)
“Farmers are continually challenged with change and over many decades have demonstrated their response to adapt. Whilst climate change is a global problem farmers will embrace and respond to this challenge. Carbon accounting provides the agricultural industry with the tools to investigate their own greenhouse gas emissions and options to mitigate and reduce their carbon emissions.”
Andrea Gardner
Head of Agricultural Projects

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