Cumbrian agricultural champions appointed to top RBST positions

TWO leading champions of Cumbrian agriculture have been appointed to the most senior positions of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

The new RBST chairman is shadow spokesperson for environment, food and rural affairs in the House of Lords, Baroness Sue Hayman, and the new RBST chairman is Lake District farmer John Atkinson.

A Labor peer in the House of Lords, Baroness Hayman served as Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2017 to 2019. conservation grazing, sheep farming and rare breed chicken farming Buff Orpington.

She says: “Through my functions in Parliament and Defra, I have developed a keen interest in the role of indigenous breeds in sustainable food production, animal welfare and good agricultural practices. I want to help raise the profile of RBST in Parliament, the charity has an important mission which is quite different from other farm groups and it is really important for the government to understand what RBST does, its relevance to the agricultural world in the sense wide and why native and rare breeds are so important to the future of agriculture and our countryside.

John Atkinson is the sixth generation of farmers at Nibthwaite Farm, near Coniston. His rare and native cattle include Luing and Whitebred Shorthorn cows as well as Teeswater, Castlemilk Moorit, Hebridean, Boreray and Blue Faced Leicester sheep. John is passionate about creating premium markets for high quality native breed products and integrating native breeds into agricultural diversifications.

He says: “With the growing interest of consumers in where food comes from and the growing attention to the environmental impacts of agriculture and land management, alongside the shift from the CAP to payment based on public goods, we have a golden opportunity to show why indigenous races can and should play a major role in a sustainable future for food, agriculture and the environment. For a long time, agriculture focused squarely on production, but the current trend towards greater consideration of the cost of production highlights the attractiveness of native livestock breeds.

About Keneth T. Graves

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