A vet nutritionist has joined Mole Valley Farmers in a new role specifically designed to help farmers navigate the climate change challenges ahead.
Duncan Williams will assist farmers in establishing their farm’s carbon footprint, benchmark performance and provide a farm-specific roadmap to help them on the journey towards becoming net zero. He’ll also look at ways to increase farm business resilience to reduce exposure to the impact of climate change.
His new role is a further extension of Mole Valley Farmers’ Climate Positive Agriculture initiative and highlights their ongoing commitment to helping farmers understand and lower their environmental impact.
Mr Williams said: “Climate change seems a very specific issue around emissions, but its bigger than that. How do we reduce our impact and also deal with risk management in terms of coping with drier and wetter conditions? That’s where business resilience comes in.”
Over the last decade, Duncan has worked as a practicing vet in the UK, US, New Zealand and China, before taking up a position as a technical consultant and nutritionist with Kite Consulting.
He is passionate about creating sustainable farming systems and has undertaken a Masters in Sustainability at Exeter University and a Nuffield Scholarship on sustainable use of antibiotics.
He believes it’s important that all farmers think about the impact the decisions they make today have on the future.
Mr Williams continued: “When we make an investment, it’s important to ask how it can reduce carbon, whilst also achieving its primary aim of improving farm profitability. We don’t want to lock ourselves into high carbon systems without meaning to.”
He said there are various “levers” that can be pulled to help lower a farm’s carbon footprint. The relevant levers will depend on an individual farm’s situation.
This could involve optimising animal performance through feeding and genetics or building nutrient cycling into farm management, for example.