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Could you be our next Strategic Farm host?

21 November 2018

We’re looking for two forward-thinking Arable farmers in England who grow either cereals and oilseeds or potatoes to host new AHDB Strategic Farms.

Following the success of the Strategic Potato Farm at Elvedon Farms in Thetford, and the positive start to the Cereals & Oilseeds Strategic Farms at Stowmarket, Leamington Spa, we are now looking for a host to build on the legacy and help progress the research.

Strategic Farms put research into practice, bringing ideas from the lab into real-farm situations.

What you need to be a Strategic Farm host​

  • Enjoy working with other growers in your region
  • Happy to invite researchers to your farm and to trial the latest research
  • A positive outlook to make changes to your business

Driving change in your region

As a Strategic Farm host you will be part of AHDB's national Inspiring Farm Excellence initiative.

The aims of the initiative are to get farmers working together and discussing how to make positive change in their region. By adding their local knowledge and experience to the latest research, we have seen excellent results.

The host will be a key part of this, and we are looking for an open minded, forward-thinking grower who enjoys working with others.

A key element of the programme in 2019 will be benchmarking, and the host can expect to help to lead a local business improvement group using AHDB's Farmbench system.

We are looking for two farms:

  • A potato farm in the East of England
  • A cereals and oilseeds farm in the South-East or South-West

Host's viewpoint - Andrew Francis

"Our decision to host a SPot Farm was born out of a quest for knowledge, we have several challenges that come in to our business and businesses in the area who have light soils.

Holding a SPot farm here allows us to look at best practice and innovation.”

Andrew Francis, Farm Director at SPot Farm East, Elveden Farms Ltd

Host’s viewpoint – Brian Barker

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for my farming career – it’s a lot of extra work, but the knowledge I’ll gain about my farm will reap rewards in the long term.”

Brian Barker, Lodge Farm, Strategic Farm East




What is a Strategic Farm?

Strategic Farms provide those involved in the industry with a platform to explore the potential for new research and technology to have an impact on their business alongside experts and researchers, giving them the confidence to implement new ideas on their own farms.

The Strategic Farm programme provides a vehicle for on-farm implementation of the science from our £1.5m annual R&D investment in a commercial, field-scale environment. 

How does the Strategic Farm programme work?

AHDB provide the funding, uncover potential research, trial subjects and facilitate all strategic farm activities as well as handling all communications and promotion.

What we ask from our hosts is: areas in your fields to run demonstrations, which could be plot, tramline or field scale. An open-minded attitude from you and your team and the willingness to act as a figurehead for press communications and events held on your farm. Expect to discuss what is happening at your business with other local growers and agronomists.

Hosts will be supported throughout the project by a steering group, which will include AHDB, the host and others with relevance to the project.

To apply contact Knowledge Exchange Manager, Graham Bannister,

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