As an organisation we believe that “with challenges come opportunity”. To put this motto into practice, IfA’s Deborah Crossan and Martha Hayes have been building on the success of the ‘Greatest Online Ag Show’, by developing a platform which will provide continuation of the IfA soils programme, as well as other IfA events and workshops.

This platform will offer presentations and mentorship, virtual farm walks, Q&A sessions and other resources to replicate real events.

Whilst we have run events this year such as the Soil Farmer of the year competition by virtue of video links, we hope that this platform will enable us to take this a step further to ensure successful knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning between farmers.

In a normal year we would be about to embark on a busy period of workshops and events through IfA led initiatives and also activities on behalf of other organisations such as the National Trust, Thames Water and Catchment Sensitive Farming.

We believe it is vital that farmers still have access to the latest technical information, despite the circumstances surrounding Covid-19 and consequently have developed this platform to ensure the continuation of the services we would normally be offering farmers. 

The platform will be launched early February and the team have already been out filming the farm walks in a Covid secure way, capturing footage from leading soil health and regenerative agriculture farmers.

Commenting on the new platform, IfA Soil & Water Manager Deborah Crossan said  “ we wanted to replicate, where possible, the key elements of a useful event, mainly seeing the farm and the discussion which leads on from the information. In an ideal world we would be out having the conversation but currently this option may ensure that interaction still takes place."

Natural England, Catchment Sensitive Farming, The National Trust, and Thames Water have all expressed an interest in this type of provision and we look forward to updating you on its progress.