Bursaries awarded for Ethical Farming event

Ethical Farming Conference logo
Norette Ferns

The Scottish Government's Regional Food Fund has awarded bursaries to ten young women to attend the Ethical Farming Conference free of charge.

The successful applicants include a Scottish post-doctoral animal welfare researcher now working in New Zealand, post graduate researchers exploring issues around agri-environment, food security and animal behaviour, veterinary medicine students, small holders and new entrant farmers.

The conference will explore models of food production that have a focus on fair work for people, high welfare for livestock, environmentally regenerative closed-loop production and sustainable circular economies. It is being co-organised by Mossgiel Farm, Peelham Farm, Rainton Farm and Whitmuir Organic.

The event will take place on 16 May at Rainton Farm in South West Scotland, home of The Ethical Dairy, the largest cow with calf dairy farm in Europe. While the Regional Food Fund's bursary opportunity was open to all new entrant farmers and young researchers, all applications made to it were from women.

Wilma Finlay, one of the organisers of the conference, said:

"We are delighted to be able to make attendance at the conference accessible to such a knowledgeable group of young people through this bursary scheme.

"We’ve developed a conference programme that focusses on bringing together practice based innovators with academics to meaningfully address public concerns about a range of issues relating to livestock farming. One of the key things we want to explore is the transferability and scalability of sustainable and ethical farming systems, to challenge the widespread idea that regenerative farming can only be done on a small scale.

"Ethically produced food is an important emerging market and livestock farming needs to have a place within that market. We are very much looking forward to welcoming these ten young professionals to the conference and we look forward to hearing their contributions to the debate."

The conference will be opened by Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment. Mairi Gougeon said:

"The Scottish Government is proud to provide funding to the Ethical Farming Conference. These bursaries are a great innovation, which will provide ten young women with the opportunity to attend the conference, and perhaps be the catalyst for a long career in the industry. I know that many within Scottish farming will be keen to welcome those new faces, with the fresh ideas and impetus that they can potentially bring to the whole sector.” 

Programme details and booking information is available on the conference website: www.ethicalfarming.org

Booking for tickets closes on Wednesday 8th May.