Rothamsted Research comments on today’s speech from Environment Secretary Michael Gove who set out his views on the direction of travel for the farming industry.

  • 20
  • FEB
  • 2018

Rothamsted Research comments on today’s speech from Environment Secretary Michael Gove, "A brighter future for farming", which set out his views on the direction of travel for the farming industry at the NFU Conference 2018.

Comment from Rothamsted Research

Director and Chief Executive, Achim Dobermann
“Environment Secretary Michael Gove sets out a compelling vision for a future in which we protect the health, beauty and permanence of our countryside. At Rothamsted Research, we have developed rigorous, science-based systems that can help to evaluate how best to preserve natural capital whilst producing healthy food. Our work comparing grazing systems for livestock production and for a new Long-Term Experiment to explore crop rotation in the landscape are just two examples that can help to underpin the thoughtful approach Mr Gove sets out today.”

Michael Lee, Livestock Scientist, Head of Sustainable Agriculture Sciences at North Wyke, and Leader of the Institute Strategic Programme, Soil To Nutrition, at Rothamsted Research
“The support for UK Agriculture exemplified in Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s speech is timely and reassuring, as our farmers face unprecedented challenges in the face of Brexit. We need to value and support our farming community to produce the high-quality food and landscape that we, "the consumer", sometimes take for granted. Our ruminant livestock industry is at the heart of rural life in the UK, providing high quality food in a world-leading animal welfare setting. The industry also provides jobs for rural communities and for a blossoming UK food sector, and protects our countryside, which we can all enjoy. Without support now, we run the risk of losing this vital industry that is the heart of the UK. I look forward to working with my colleagues at Rothamsted Research and the wider scientific and farming community to help realise Mr Gove’s ambition laid out today.”

About Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research is the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world. We work from gene to field with a proud history of ground-breaking discoveries, from crop treatment to crop protection, from statistical interpretation to soils management. Our founders, in 1843, were the pioneers of modern agriculture, and we are known for our imaginative science and our collaborative influence on fresh thinking and farming practices.
Through independent science and innovation, we make significant contributions to improving agri-food systems in the UK and internationally. In terms of the institute’s economic contribution, the cumulative impact of our work in the UK was calculated to exceed £3000 million a year in 20151. Our strength lies in our systems approach, which combines science and strategic research, interdisciplinary teams and partnerships.
Rothamsted is also home to three unique resources. These National Capabilities are open to researchers from all over the world: The Long-Term Experiments, Rothamsted Insect Survey and the North Wyke Farm Platform.
We are strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with additional support from other national and international funding streams, and from industry. We are also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust (LAT).
For more information, visit; Twitter @Rothamsted
1Rothamsted Research and the Value of Excellence: A synthesis of the available evidence, by Séan Rickard (Oct 2015)

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes

About LAT
The Lawes Agricultural Trust, established in 1889 by Sir John Bennet Lawes, supports Rothamsted Research’s national and international agricultural science through the provision of land, facilities and funding. LAT, a charitable trust, owns the estates at Harpenden and Broom's Barn, including many of the buildings used by Rothamsted Research. LAT provides an annual research grant to the Director, accommodation for nearly 200 people, and support for fellowships for young scientists from developing countries. LAT also makes capital grants to help modernise facilities at Rothamsted, or invests in new buildings.