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Member News
Rothamsted Research Rothamsted Research
The views expressed in this Member News article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent those of Agri-TechE.

Rothamsted’s 400-hectare site in Harpenden, Hertfordshire today became the latest site to join a network of innovation centres and demonstration farms which include some of the UK’s leading research establishments and most progressive farmers.

The move further strengthens Rothamsted’s strategic partnership with LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) which aims to accelerate the scientific knowledge exchange around more sustainable, regenerative farming systems.

Working with farmers, the food industry, scientists, environmentalists, teachers, young people, and consumers, LEAF are looking at new ways to deliver productivity and prosperity among our farmers, enrich the environment and engage young people and society in a valuable and meaningful way

Speaking at the launch earlier today, Philip Wynn, Chairman of LEAF said: “Rothamsted is a vibrant hub for global science, underpinned by history, innovation, and fresh thinking, working across different scales and disciplines to improve crop and livestock performance, resilience, and value. 

“We are honoured to be forging even closer links with them at this crucial time for agriculture and hugely excited about the opportunities this partnership will offer our members and the wider farming community to access the latest research, ideas, and innovations to advance more resilient global farming and food systems.

“The role of the LEAF Network could not be more important at this time.  We look forward to building on our partnership with Rothamsted to help inform, inspire and equip farmers with the tools, know-how and confidence to realise their sustainable farming ambitions.”

LEAF Innovation Centres are research organisations whose work supports the research, evidence, development, and promotion of Integrated Farm Management and Rothamsted’s North Wyke farm, specialising in sustainable grazing livestock systems, has been a LEAF Innovation Centre since 2015.

Professor Angela Karp, Director and CEO of Rothamsted Research said that extending the collaboration with LEAF signals a major step in driving forward the uptake of more integrated, holistic approaches to crop and livestock farming.

“Partnerships, innovation, public engagement, and knowledge exchange are woven into our new science strategy.  By working with both public and private sector partners our aim is to turn excellent research into impactful, sustainable outcomes. Being a LEAF Innovation Centre will better enable our wide-ranging research to reach farmers on the ground.

“It is partnerships such as this that will help accelerate the capabilities of farmers to raise the productivity of their crop and livestock systems, tackle weed, disease and insect resistance, improve soil health, enhance natural capital, and reduce their carbon and nutrient footprint.

“Developing closer ties between researchers and practitioners will refine and improve performances for both. We are extremely honoured to become a LEAF Innovation Centre and, alongside our North Wyke site, look forward to the opportunities it will bring to advance fresh, dynamic, and responsive approaches to knowledge development and exchange that are aligned with the needs of farmers.”

Rothamsted Research joins 14 other LEAF Innovation Centres – Agrii Throws Farm Technology Centre, Bangor University, Bayer Crop Science, the University of Reading’s Centre for Dairy Research, The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Harper Adams University, The James Hutton Institute, Newcastle University Farms, NIAB EMR, Rothamsted Research North Wyke, The Royal Agricultural University, SRUC’s The Dairy Cattle Research and Innovation Centre, SRUC’s Hill & Mountain Research Centre, and Stockbridge Technology Centre.

More information about Rothamsted Research and the LEAF Network can be found here.