Farmers in Cumbria are “setting the agenda” when it comes to running The Cumbria Farmer Network, a new non-profit making company bringing practical advice and training to farmers across the county.
CFN chairman is Ennerdale farmer Will Rawling, who says it is Cumbria’s farmers who will decide what they need from the new company.
“Our aim is to produce a ‘bottom-up’ approach to the way technical and environmental issues are delivered via CFN.
All the projects and training sessions will be based on ideas from farmers,” says Mr Rawling, who chaired the first annual meeting of CFN last week.
CFN has taken over from the Cumbria Rural Futures project set up in the wake of the foot-and-mouth crisis.
Regular meetings with farmers throughout the county ensure there is constant feed-back of grass-roots issues to the CFN board.
“We’ve covered issues like slurry disposal and livestock welfare and are working with the Friends of the Lake District by holding farm walks to increase the public’s awareness of hill farming.
Even mundane matters like form-filling have been on the agenda,” says Mr Rawling.
Membership of the CFN costs £20/year.