NSA and Eorganics
NSA and the E-Organic Erasmus Project
NSA is pleased to be the sole UK partner in an EU-funded Turkish-led research project called E-Organic Erasmus, running from early 2021 to the end of 2022.
The project will collate information about organic livestock production systems (including but not limited to sheep) from across Europe into a free-to-access online resource. It will also allow nominated individuals from the participating countries (Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK) to visit each other on study trips. NSA welcomed UK farmers to apply for the opportunity, with Mike Adams and James MacCartney selected through an interview process in summer 2021.
By coincidence, Mike and James farm just eight miles from each other in Rutland (NSA Central Region). Mike is a first generation farmer who established his own flock in 2005. After various breed experiments, he is moving towards Poll Dorsets lambing three times in two years, alongside similarly recently established beef and arable enterprises.
Upon entering organic conversion in early October 2021, Mike says: “We looked at various regenerative agricultural methods, as these will really help improve our tired soils, and organic conversion seemed the sensible approached – both from a financial perspective and because it fits neatly in our mixed farming system.”
James is not farming organically, but is likewise interested in regenerative agriculture, particularly improving grazing management and sward quality. He runs 600 breeding ewes and 150 cattle alongside various diversification schemes, with plans to increase sheep numbers as grazing management improves. To maintain a closed flock, James is replacing his North Country Mules with Lleyns.
He says: “I am interested in investigating where conventional livestock systems can learn from organic and regenerative practices to improve sustainability and reduce inputs. I am open to ideas and the E-Organic Erasmus trip will give me a great opportunity to learn from farming in parts of Europe that I know little about.”