Farming For Nature Europe
Working on the Farming for Nature Ambassador Programme over the past number of years, we’ve come to realize that many of the same challenges and opportunities that exist here in Ireland around farming and nature are shared by countries across Europe. Among them, the negative narrative that dominates discussions around farming and nature. While unsustainable farming systems do exist, they shouldn’t disguise the outstanding work done by many farmers on the ground in these countries – it’s from these farmers that the practical solutions for a more sustainable rural future will emerge.
We’d love to see Farming for Nature Ambassadors across Europe ‘speaking up’ and sharing their inspiring stories so that peers, policymakers and the public can gain a better understanding of the potential of farming to address the crises in climate, biodiversity and food nutrition. As a small non-profit which relies on a lot of voluntary input, we don’t have the resources to do this but we are keen to support those who would like to do so, and share our learnings and resources with them.
In 2021 we were delighted to connect with some wonderful colleagues in Lithuania and in Austria and help them on their journeys in establishing national Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards programmes. Looking at the nominated farmers and the short films – some of them featured here – it’s exciting to imagine an active European network of such farmers and the cross pollination of experiences and other opportunities that might arise.
We wish these countries the best of luck with their work and congratulate their Ambassadors for their outstanding work. If you are interested in establishing an Ambassador Programme in your country, or if you are a funder who would like to support this work, please get in touch with us at [email protected]
Farming For Nature Northern Ireland
This started in August 2023 and they are due to hold their Farming For Nature Ambassador awards in December 2023. More information to come.
Farming For Nature Lithuania
This started in 2021 and they held their Farming For Nature Ambassador awards in December 2021.
The “Good Farmer” Championship is an initiative that aims to bring together and show examples of farmers who f
arm in harmony with nature. The championship in Lithuania is being held for the third time. This year, the public proposed 30 farms for the evaluation of the commission. After the initial selection, the commission visited 13 farms, evaluated their applied practices, benefits to nature and the local community, and selected three ambassadors for this year:
- Bačkonys ecological farm: a certified organic farm covering 40 hectares of land, where a variety of vegetables, chickens, turkeys and Highland cows are grown.
- Marozai dairy farm: the farm covers 600 ha of land and grows various grain crops, red clover, and beef cattle. This is
one of the largest biodynamic farms in Lithuania.
- Martinėliai ecological farm: farmers work 15 ha of land; they do not use large agricultural machinery in their activities. This farm is famous for traditional Lithuanian cheese, which is made here with a variety of sweet and savoury seasonings.
Farmers will be rewarded and honoured for their positive practices at the upcoming awards ceremony which will be celebrated on 20th October. There will be also announced the winner of the “Public Sympathy” title, chosen by the public voting for their most favourite farm.
Their farmers can be viewed here www.kitoksukis.lt
Farming For Nature Austria
This started in 2021 and they are holding their first Farming For Nature Ambassador awards in January 2022. For more information on the farmers they have picked for nominations please go to www.farmingfornature.at