Thu, 14 Jan | By Zoom

From the Ground Up - Why Sustainable Farming Matters

This event is the first in a series of three food themed sessions looking at the 'carbon on your plate' where we welcome guest speakers from the farming community.
Registration is Closed
From the Ground Up - Why Sustainable Farming Matters

Time & Location

14 Jan, 18:00 – 19:30
By Zoom

About the Event

Speakers include;

John Pawsey, Shimpling Park Farms Limited

Kate Adams, National Farmers Union (NFU) Adviser

Rob Ruddock, Blue Coats Farm, Harrogate

Jo Olner, Blue Coats Farm, Harrogate

This event will help to show how farmers are having to adapt to the changing climate and that its possible for farms to reduce their carbon emissions, whist benefitting biodiversity and climate resilience. Attendees might like to view the video "Virtual organic farm walk: Challenges of net zero" ahead of the event. The virtual walk starts at around 18' 30" from the beginning.

Following the speaker presentations there will be an open Q&A session.


John Pawsey, is a fourth generation farmer from Suffolk and is a Director of Shimpling Park Farms Limited. The farm is mixed with 650 hectares of arable land and 1,000 New Zealand Romney breeding ewes on Hanslope series chalky boulder clay. John also farms an additional 980 hectares for neighbouring farmers under farm management contracts. All the farms are managed organically with the first farm being converted to organic production in 1999. Crops grown on the farm feature an array of legumes, cereals ranging from oats to spelt as well as some speciality crops including quinoa and buckwheat. Diversifications on the farm include a HLS Scheme, commercial and domestic rentals and various renewable energy projects including a photovoltaic array and 3 wood chip boilers.

Kate Adams, has recently joined the NFU North East as an Environment and Land Use Advisor. With a background in Plant Protection Products regulation, Kate joined the NFU from the Chemical Regulation Division of the Health and Safety Executive in November. In the role, Kate works closely with farmers to provide skilled professional guidance and technical support on a range of environmental, land use, climate change and planning issues affecting farmers and growers across the region.

Rob Ruddock, grew up helping on his grandparent’s and neighbour’s farms and followed this up by going to agricultural college. 

Jo Olner, grew up at Beckwith Cottage Farm, Harrogate, but moved south to study and work. Moving back to Harrogate in 2001 she started rearing cows and selling beef boxes direct to the public. Rob and Jo now live and farm at Blue Coats Farm, with their own family, where their efforts to encourage biodiversity make their farmland distinctive from neighbouring fields. However there are many challenges in running a viable livestock business in this way.