Banner Default Image

AgriCulture Live Podcast Transcript - Episode 9

AgriCulture Live Episode 9 with guest Owen Atkinson from Dairy Veterinary Consultancy Limited

"Are Cows Ruining the Planet?"

Rebekah: 0:01

Hello and welcome to Agriculture Live. My name is Rebekah Shields, I'm from Agricultural Recruitment Specialists and today joining me we've got Owen Atkinson. He's an owner and director at Dairy Veterinary Consultancy Limited. He's also a Nuffield Scholar, a Cow Signals Trainer and an RCVS Specialist Dairy. That is all a mouthful, there, isn't it?


Yeah, morning Rebekah. I thought you're on your way to calling me an ass, but no, thankfully it changed to RCVS!


We're going to be talking about are cow's ruining the planet? So, some people might have comments or questions. Please feel free to post them up, if you do, we'll get to them, and so it's over to you, Owen. So, introduce yourself, where you work, what your company does.

Owen: 0:57

Yeah, thanks, Rebekah. So I'm Owen Atkinson. I am a vet. My company is Dairy Veterinary Consultancy, which is kind of it is what it says on the tin. I was a vet in practice, as you might imagine, most vets work for 20 years in mainly farm practice and latterly in a large dairy based practice in Cheshire, which is where I still live and work. And then in 2013, I left practice and made the unusual step of starting a consultancy business, which is sort of taking veterinary into a different direction, really, and my work now is working with dairy farmers, of course, other dairy vets. I do a lot of training for vets and second opinion work for other vets, but within the wider industry really. So within the wider dairy industry, I do a lot of work with processors, a little bit with pharmaceutical companies, etc.

Rebekah: 2:01

Excellent. And so what makes you guys stand out from your competitors?

Owen: 2:07

So my role is quite different to most vets. I don't do clinical work anymore, which means I don't put my hand at the backside of cows and I don't sell medicines and I don't use a stethoscope. So I'm not sort of dealing with sick animals. I am all about prevention rather than treatment. I have worked hard over my career to build up my expertise and specialism. As you say, I'm an RCVS specialist, which is a term. Specialist is a protected term for vets. You know you can't just call yourself a specialist just because you fancy doing that. You have to have the permission from the Royal College and in order to do that I have taken lots of extra exams and I undertake - I have to renew that specialist status every five years by demonstrating extra competence and skills in my area. The specialism area is cattle health and production.

Rebekah: 3:10

Fantastic. So how did you get into this field and why?

Owen: 3:15

So I mean, I mean going back a bit. I mean I was a schoolboy and I kind of quite liked science and I guess I thought I was going to be a doctor, I think, because I thought you know, I like biology, but I was from a farm as well and it was fairly natural I think. It was probably more obvious to other people than it was to me to become a vet, and when I became a vet, I was always interested in doing the farm animal stuff. I guess because I'm from a farm, or my dad, my granddad, had a farm, so that's really how I got into doing farm, being a farm animal vet, and then my career progressed. Like a lot of vets, you know, you're out in practice and you do get a bit frustrated. I think this is not something that I suffered from, but I know it's common amongst other vets as well. Farm vets - is that you do spend a lot of time treating sick animals and yet what we really want to do, and what we're probably better at, is preventing disease in the first place, particularly for your farm vet.

Owen: 4:15

That tends to be what draws you into being a farm vet is that prevention piece and working with people and being, I guess, having that, that wider overview. If you're interested in treating sick animals, you know you'd be, you'd become a horse or a pet or you know cat and dog vet really, because that's what, that's what you do. Um, I wasn't so interested in that.

Owen: 4:36

I was well, yeah and of course we all say that um, it is, and of course we all say that and it is true it's complicated. I know you want to talk a little bit about the wider aspect of agriculture and ruminant farming and in terms of the impact on global warming and the planet, and I think a lot of farm vets have that, that very kind of global view of the work they do. They see it, they see the animal health work they do in that wider context of one health, if you like. But you know farming animals is so intrinsically involved with with human health as well, because of nutrition and, of course, global health, because of potential global warming and care of our environment.

Owen: 5:27

Um, but yeah, I guess all that came to a head and what stimulated me to leave practice and set up my consultancy business to allow me purely and solely to concentrate on that wider, that wider stuff, rather than be I'm going to use the word dragged in, but it makes it sound very negative but dragged into treating the sick animals, because of course that's what the demand is from farmers. Farmers ring the vet to usually go out and treat something that is sick, and I wanted to remove myself from that situation. Really, I wanted to set my stall out in a different way.

Rebekah: 6:02

Fair enough. So you're a Nuffield scholar, which is fantastic, so can you tell people watching and listening what one of those are?

Owen: 6:13

Yes, so the Nuffield Farming Travel Scholarship scheme. It's overseen by the Nuffield Farming Trust. It is a fantastic opportunity, if you're involved in agriculture at all. So this is for farmers, but also for people who are, like myself, sort of involved as a support industry are eligible to apply for a Nuffield Travel Scholarship, and the key word is to travel. You have to travel, uh, which is no hardship if you enjoy travelling, like myself, but you apply with a subject that you're interested in investigating further, and it could be anything. You know, if you're a potato grower, it might be how to grow potatoes better. For me, as a vet, it was how we, as farm vets, could become better communicators with our clients, and particularly with dairy clients, and involved really with how do we encourage farmers to embrace change, how do we encourage them to make changes, and that was my Nuffield Travel Scholarship. That was in 2009 and 2010.

Rebekah: 7:29

Fantastic, interesting subject. Did you learn a lot?

Owen: 7:35

Well, not as much as you kind of like, in the sense that I mean, yes, I did and it was fantastic. But you know, there's no clear answer in these things. I went with it with my, with my question, which is how, as a vet, could I be better at helping farmers make changes? And wherever I went it was like, well, yeah, when you find out the answer, come back and tell us, because we don't know either. But that was encouraging in a way, because it was a common problem. It was a common problem that a lot of vets have all around the world. So I was going to. You know, I went to America, I went to New Zealand and I went to the Netherlands. They were my three key kind of countries I travelled to - where I learned a lot. Rebekah, it actually was from the developing countries they aren't necessarily in the vet field. There's been a lot of work.

Owen: 8:33

Um, aids. So the aids epidemic back in the 1980s was one of the things that really pushed on developing countries to work. In changing behaviour in particular. The key elements were really something called participatory learning or participatory epidemiology, which is which is helping people take ownership of the problem themselves, and I learned a lot from their learnings, if that makes sense. So, in other words, as adults, you know, we learn, we learn, we learn from other people.

Rebekah: 9:13

Other people on the show have said that they learnt most from the developing countries. But today we're going to talk about are cows ruining the planet? So, tell us, Owen. Owen, tell us about your passion for cows. I can see your picture in the background. You know, where did this passion come from?

Owen: 9:32

Oh gosh, I mean, anyone who works with cows, I think, probably has a passion for them. They are wonderful animals. They truly are. They are wonderful because they're large and yet they're usually relatively gentle. The ones we work with are usually very gentle and that seems because they're a domesticated animal that have changed over hundreds of thousands of years. People sometimes talk of cows as being the mother of civilization, and I don't know whether, Rebekah, whether you've heard that expression, have you?

Rebekah: 10:10

I haven't actually - tell us about that.

Owen: 10:13

So, it sort of stems from the fact that, you know, we as human beings now, in this modern world, we live in societies and sometimes live in cities, et cetera, and countries, and all that, we could argue, stems from our ability as human beings to transition from hunter gatherers to farmers. And cows were one of the first animals that human beings domesticated and farmed. And the reason why cows are so valuable is because they produce that bit of protein every day in their milk, so it's different to just eating their meat. It's living, coexisting with cows and getting nutrition from their milk, basically, and that, according to some, allowed civilization to develop. Um, according to some, allowed civilization to develop. And I think that that kind of, you know, cows are in our genes in essence, because human beings have co-evolved with our domesticated, domesticated cattle, and I find that absolutely fascinating.

Owen: 11:21

And in our country, in the UK, most people in our society are quite, are quite, divorced from cows. You know they don't see cows and work with cows where they don't, they're not lucky enough. But you haven't got to go back too many years really before, before that wasn't the case. You know when, if you didn't own a cow yourself, you'd probably know someone who did. And that's still true when you go to developing countries. And it's still true when um, you know when, when? If you didn't own a cow yourself, you'd probably know someone who did. And that's still true when you go to developing countries, and it's still true when well, even in places like New Zealand and Ireland, most people are from a farm, or their grandparents are from a farm, or their parents are from a farm, so they have a closer connection to farming and to nature and to cows than perhaps most people do in Britain at the moment.

Rebekah: 12:06

Wow, it is really fascinating, Owen. So, do you think the agricultural industry gets all the bad rap in terms of climate change?

Owen: 12:17

Well, they don't get all the bad rap, but we get a lot and sometimes you've got to wonder where that comes from. So, I'm quite cynical sometimes about where we're getting our messages from, and I'm going to use a classic. You know Oatly? Oatly Oat Milk, where they have invested probably millions of pounds in an advertising campaign to get us to drink oat milk,. And they do it by almost guilt-tripping us into thinking that if we're drinking dairy cow milk that we're ruining the planet. And yet the message is very warped and it's to sell oat milk. That's all it is. It's to sell oat milk, it's not to save the planet.

Owen: 13:06

And unfortunately, that's where a lot of the anti-dairy messages come from. I mean, some of the anti-dairy messages come from other areas as well. Now, that's not to deny any ownership of the responsibility of dairy farmers, in particular dairy farmers. That's the sector I work in - any ownership of responsibility for climate change. But I think to understand the bigger picture is really important. But it's a complex picture, so, um, it's not easy to grasp straight away. I'm happy to explain it a little bit to you, Rebekah, if you'd like?

Rebekah: 13:41

If you'd like to? See there's a lot of talk about methane from cows. Yeah one of my aunties was like oh, you can't eat meat, you know I've gone vegetarian because you know of the climate change that cows cause - because that is the message that we get everywhere, explain it to us.

Owen: 13:58

You know, are cows a major environmental problem? Okay, so I'm going to start with the biology, really, of where methane comes from in a cow. So cows are, and I'm fascinated with the biology of cows digestion, because I guess it's what I do. I'm a vet but it is absolutely fascinating. How cows can and other ruminants, so sheep as well, but we'll talk about cows. Um, they can use grass and forage to, to feed themselves and we can't, you know, as human beings, we can't. Pigs, can't, chickens can't, cows can, horses can as well, but we will just stick with sheep. They don't get the same bad rap.

Owen: 14:38

And the way and the reason they do it is because of the rumen. And in the rumen, which is about a third of a cow, is the rumen. You know, if you're going to look inside a cow, it's huge. The rumen is what fills its belly and that's a big fermentation vat and it's the bugs in the rumen that break down the foragers and there's a whole plethora of bugs. I mean there are hundreds and millions and billions of these, bacteria primarily, but also yeasts and protozoa, and there are some which are called archaea. Now, archaea are not, they're not a bacteria, they're kind of a more. There are more a prime, primordial organism than bacteria. They were one of the first back then, you know, one of the first organisms that that grew on planet earth archaea and they're very, very simple organisms and they can survive on very, very little and what they live on is hydrogen ions and they, if you like, because it's an ecosystem, that

fermentation back in the room is an ecosystem and they all depend on each other. But basically, what they do is they break down grass, forage, um, which is cellulose, which, like, say, human beings that can't access that as a nutrient, and they create nutrients for the cow. So, basically, the cow lives on the nutrients that these bacteria and yeast and fungi produce in the rumen. The cow is living on a bacterial soup, or a sorry, a microbial soup, if you like, which sort of is a result of this fermentation process. And that's what makes cows very special they can turn food, they can turn forage into food, which other animals can't do, and human beings can, can use that food, whether it be milk or whether it be meat.

Owen: 16:30

Now, the archaea are the ones that produce the methane, and they do it because they mop up some hydron ions, which is hydrogen ions, a part of acid, if you know that, and they're quite important because they keep that balance right it's all to do with the balances. It's like, I guess, if you think about other ecosystems, you know the rainforest if you remove one part of the ecosystem, it affects everything else, and if you remove the archaea from rumens, it would affect everything else. It would affect the efficiency and the function of that whole ecosystem. So these are the archaea, these little, little things that are smaller than bacteria, and they produce methane. And they do it because they're part of that ecosystem and they've always done it, you know, they've been around for as long as cows have been around, for now, the methane they produce is a byproduct of this fermentation, and methane is a greenhouse gas. It does have a global warming effect.

Owen: 17:26

Now I think it's important just to get it into context, though.

Owen: 17:29

So methane, as a global warming gas is probably accounts for five to 10 percent of global warming. The vast majority is nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide is the big one, but also water vapor. Water vapor causes global warming, so methane does have a global warming effect. On a pound for pound basis, methane is quite a strong global warmer. So if you kind of take a pound in weight of carbon dioxide and a pound in weight of methane, then methane is stronger, but still nevertheless even accounting for that, because carbon dioxide and water vapor and nitrous oxide are produced in bigger quantities methane still only accounts for five to ten percent of global warming. Now the methane that accounts for this five to ten percent global warming, about a quarter of it comes from rumen fermentation. It comes from cattle and sheep, so that sets it in ten. In context, it's a quarter of, let's say, five or ten percent. So if we went for ten percent, a quarter of ten percent is two and a half percent. So two and a half percent at most of global warming comes from cattle.

Rebekah: 18:38

Wow, and it's painted as like so much more than that, isn't it?

Owen: 18:45

And it's more complex than that. So the thing about methane as a global warming gas is it has a 10 year life cycle, so it breaks down after 10 years. Carbon dioxide takes hundreds of years to break down. Ok, so if the cattle population stays the same, then it's just a balance. So cows are producing methane, but at the same, at the same rate, they're producing it is breaking down methane, but at the same, at the same rate they're producing it is breaking down.

Owen: 19:10

It is true that if we increased our cattle population or our sheep population or any of the ruminants, then the amount of methane, the net production of methane, would increase. But at the moment our world cattle population is relatively stable. But it is something to consider. As human beings increase in number, you know they tend to want more protein and therefore if we increase our cattle population it's not happening in Britain, but it might globally then there would be more methane produced from cattle. But still keep it in context it is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of methane that is produced elsewhere. So 2.5% is from cattle.

Owen: 19:52

The amount of methane is produced as well. Well, a lot of it, about a third of methane that is produced is from fossil fuels, because that's released when you mine fossil fuels, not when you're burning it when you're mining it, so that produces more methane, but about half of it. So the rest of it, the vast majority methane actually comes from the oceans and from soil. Now, no one's saying that we should banish the oceans and banish soil, because it's part of this natural cycle. The great thing about oceans and soil is that they are carbon sinks. So if it's healthy - so healthy oceans and healthy soil they take carbon dioxide and they hold it there, particularly so, if you, I'll explain kind of how that works. I'm more confident about doing this in the soil rather than on the oceans.

Owen: 20:49

But in soil, if you've got permanent pasture or tropical rainforests, I'm talking about vegetation that's permanent, not cropping. I'm not talking about wheat fields, maize fields, soya fields, all the things that people want us to do instead of keeping cows. I'm talking about permanent pasture and permanent vegetation, such as rainforests. What they do, those plants they use carbon dioxide. I'm talking about permanent pasture and permanent vegetation, such as rainforests. What they do, those plants -they use carbon dioxide.

Owen: 21:15

I think everyone knows that they take up carbon dioxide and they turn it into sugars and building blocks for their own life. That carbon dioxide, or that carbon, if you like, as the vegetation gets recycled into the, into the soil, is held in the soil and eventually, after millions of years, it would become oil or coal. Yeah, so it's a sink. It's a carbon sink. Cattle farming within that context. If it is done with permanent pasture so pasture-based cattle farming it has a net global warming benefit because the amount of carbon dioxide that is taken up by those permanent pastures more than outweighs the methane which in any case is recycled and breaks down after 10 years. So, it has a net cooling effect on the planet.

Rebekah: 22:14

So it's a good thing yeah, but that's not how the picture's painted, is it Owen?

Owen: 22:21

And it's complicated. You need to dig into it to find these the truth out. Now, it is true that you know we could do better with dairy farming than you know we like to say. I'm not absolving our responsibility, because methane is a strong global warming gas. You know, if we can reduce the amount of methane that we've produced, and that's great. So therefore, if we can farm our cattle more efficiently, then that is great. If we can use more regenerative pastures whilst we do our farming, that is great. So there’s more.

Owen: 22:50

You know the carbon dioxide story, the methane which is produced from a cow that is grazing pasture or using forages in silage is better for the planet than, let's say, the cow that is fed a high soya and maize diet. Because that growing the soya and the maize, because it's cropping which is again what people want us to. You know, they want us to eat the soya and the maize ourselves and be vegetarians, but actually that cropping doesn't have that net global cooling benefit of locking up carbon in the soils. So, it's, you know it is complicated to think well, how can, how can keeping our cattle be done in a more regenerative way, the most regenerative way possible?

Rebekah: 23:41

So how can we change this message then?

Owen: 23:47

Well, it's kind of you to give me the opportunity of having a little part of that this morning. I guess, you know those of us that are in the industry. We need to upskill ourselves and learn what is happening. We need to be open to suggestions and have our ears open to, to wider society. There's no point of just just going into this blinkered and just in denial that that that cattle and methane production doesn't have any role at all in global warming. I don't think that's very helpful.

Owen: 24:24

Um, how do we do it, Rebekah? I don't know. I don't know in all honesty, because we haven't got millions of pounds worth of advertising money to, let's say, like Oatly and I'm you know, I'm going to name Oatly because everyone knows it because of their millions of pounds of advertising. To put out this simple you know what is? A very simple but wrong message that you know produce, eat it, drinking milk is warming the planet and killing us all off. You know, if only we did have that advertising clout to put out a simple message to say - no cows, save the planet! I don't know how we do it. I don't know how we do it.

Rebekah: 25:03

I don't know how we do it. So, what would you say to people that ask you know, do we need to give up consuming meat?

Owen: 25:12

Do we need to give up consuming meat? So we need to, we need to be less wasteful with all of our resources. I believe yeah, if you want to give up meat, that's fine. I mean, it is everyone's prerogative to not eat meat, or be a vegan, that's fine. I think to do so in the belief that you're doing it to save the planet, I think isn't correct. I think that would be disingenuous. To believe that unless you intend to stop eating all food, you know if you intend to not eat anything, but switching dairy for let's say tofu isn't necessarily going to save the planet, because the production of the tofu which is cropping. You know, that in itself has got a global impact. So as consumers, we can be less wasteful. Probably all of us could eat a little bit less of everything yeah and be less wasteful, and arguably being more careful about our protein.

Owen: 26:18

You know we are over consuming protein in the west. We do. So we don't need to eat as much meat as we do.


So that's a that's a fair point, I think there's a lot of protein diets that are, you know, marketed, aren't there as well?

Owen: 26:36

Yes. I mean I've got two boys, my older boys. They're sort of early 20s both of them, and they like to have their protein shakes and that kind of thing to help them build muscle, which will be largely dairy derived, because I think they're whey-based usually. Um, yes, whether they need as much protein, I don't, I don't know, but I think, let's not ignore the obvious. Five or 10 percent of global warming comes from methane. About 25 percent of that methane is from cattle. So, in other words, two and a half percent of our global warming effect comes from cattle. Where is the other 97 and a half percent coming from? It is coming from fossil fuels.

Rebekah: 27:23


Owen: 27:25

Yeah, and I know it's hard. You know I like traveling abroad and going on airplanes and I like to live in a house that is centrally heated, etc. But if I want to have an impact on global warming, it's there that I need to concentrate, really, Rebekah.

Rebekah: 27:40

Thank you, Owen. That's so interesting. So, what are your thoughts on lab grown meat? Because that's making big waves in the news at the minute.

Owen: 27:52

Yeah, and I mean, I'm not an expert in this area so I don't know a lot about it. I've come across it, probably like you have, Rebekah. Just by reading what I've read, and from my understanding is that, there's been a lot of money put into it because as a concept it's quite interesting. But it's a very expensive thing to produce, so, I'm not sure whether it'll actually get there. Yeah, I mean, I'm not against farming animals, but I am very pro animal welfare and those two things are not that you know, one doesn't mean that you can't have the other. Absolutely you can farm animals and you can have good animal welfare.

Owen: 28:34

I know that because I work with cows, but I work tirelessly to improve animal welfare, because we can do better. We can do better. We've co-evolved with cows for hundreds and hundreds of thousands of years and we owe them everything. We can continue to live with cows, farming them for, hopefully, hundreds of thousands of years more, but to do so in a responsible, humane and caring way.

Rebekah: 29:10

Owen - so how can the lives of cows be improved?

Owen: 29:13

More space for a lot of cows. Cows do like space and it's a little bugbear of mine is when I see cows with restricted space. So, if I see dairy farmers and they have fewer cubicles, for example, than they have cows cubicles be in the beds, then that gets me quite cross. Um, that'd be one example.

Owen: 29:37

Lameness is another area where we just need to keep paying attention on how we can improve foot health all the time. I mean our dairy herds. I work tirelessly to improve lameness. Some of that will be through genetic improvements, but a lot of it is through improving the environment of the cows, better housing. Personally, I do like to see cows outside on pasture for the reasons I've said. That's not to say that all farms need to have all cows outside all the time, but if they're on forage-based diets, then that is a good thing for the environment, but generally speaking, good things for cows. That's a good thing for the cows - welfare and health too. So, there's a few, a few examples of how you might improve the lives of cows treat them with the respect they deserve.

Rebekah: 30:31

Definitely, you've made some great points there. So, you're probably aware a major issue for agriculture is actually attracting new entrants to the industry. You know we've got an ageing farming population - what's your input on this? How do we do this?

Owen: 30:45

Yeah, I mean farming is an incredibly exciting industry to be in, and I don't think it's always been viewed like that in my lifetime, you know, perhaps there was a time when if you're a dairy farmer, in this country, it was just because you, you were expected to be, because your dad was a dairy farmer and probably your granddad was a dairy farmer, and it's just your turn.

Owen: 31:04

It needs to be a lifestyle choice and it can be a lifestyle choice, and I think there's better opportunities for new entrants into dairy in this, in this country, emulating what happens in New Zealand, really, which where if you're a dairy farmer, because you've chosen to be a dairy farmer, and it's a very good choice to be a dairy farmer, because you're working with cows, which is an honour, you're working outside, which is a pleasure, every day is different, you are using your brain all the time.

Owen: 31:33

It's an incredibly practical job and it should, if it's done well, be financially rewarding, so you can have a really good lifestyle as well and so we need to speak it up. We need to talk it up - being a farmer should be a choice and it's a good choice. Unfortunately, in this country, farmers get a bad rap and you go abroad even to it doesn't need to be to New Zealand if you go to the Netherlands you walk off the airplane and what do you see? You see pictures of windmills, tulips and dairy cows and they've got pride in their dairy farmers and their agriculture and I just wish some of that pride existed in Britain a little bit more, because it's sometimes a little bit depressing to feel like you're the enemy of the state as a farmer in Great Britain, and I think that's sad.

Rebekah: 32:20

We could do with some money from the government to really push our industry forward, couldn't we?

Owen: 32:26

Yeah, money, but just having pride in farming and farmers, you know just the right attitude and words, rather than necessarily, like I say, just talking the industry down and this blame, this blame for global warming, it feeds into that.

Rebekah: 32:46

It's really sad, but then you look at little kids and you know. Even my daughter on the weekend said to me that she wanted to be a farmer when she grew up, which I thought was quite lovely. You know, and some of her friends say the same.

Owen: 33:01

So hopefully change is coming. Well we need to nurture that and we need to make better opportunities for people to get into farming absolutely, because not all of us are from farm backgrounds, are we?

Owen: 33:11

No, no, and I don't know this. I don't know. A quick answer to that, Rebekah. Um, I do see more new entrants into dairy farming because perhaps farmers who are retiring may retain the land and become landlords and landowners. And this is the New Zealand model where you don't necessarily need to be the landowner to be a farmer and you can start by buying a few cows and being a share farmer and then build up your herd and build up your equity and eventually take on a whole farm tenancy yourself. Um, yeah, those, those opportunities are starting to happen a little bit in this country, but it's not easy.

Rebekah: 33:49

You've got to be very, very committed to do it. So other than cows, climate change, attracting people into the industry, what are other subjects that you think are going to be big talking points going forward within agriculture?

Owen: 34:05

Gosh. Well, those are. Those are three big things.

Rebekah: 34:13

Absolutely. Tell us - What can you see?

Owen: 34:15

What's on the horizon? I mean I'm fairly optimistic. I think that farming is becoming more of a choice now than it would have been when I first qualified as a vet in 1994. Like I say, there are greater opportunities. I really am loving the fact that a lot of vets and dairy farmers are really embracing the regenerative agriculture scene and just learning more about the importance of farming with nature. I'm loving that, and that, I think, is going to grow and grow and grow, and maybe that's the thing that will change people's attitudes. Rebekah, I think if we in the industry, in the agriculture industry, can just bring people who aren't in the industry along with us on those journeys of understanding more about farming with nature, then I think that we will see a big shift in people's attitudes, because the younger generation are more aware of you know nature and things like that yeah, and that's all I think.

Owen: 35:25

That's what keeps me optimistic, you know, seeing the attitudes of my three children and, like I say, late teenagers and early 20s, and the importance that they place on the environment and their willingness to understand a little bit more about the truth rather than just taking what yeah? What they're, what they're picking up from advertising.

Rebekah: 35:48

Well, what a great discussion, Owen, that has been. Thank you so much for joining me today - I've learned a lot.

Rebekah: 35:56

I was very interested, you know, in terms of the methane understanding that you know it does go through cycle, it doesn't just stay there. Thank you everyone for watching. Next Monday at 10 am I'll be joined by John Giles, who's a Director of Promar UK, and we'll be talking about the current state and nature of the UK agri-food market. So that should be a good one. If you've got an interesting topic in agriculture that you would like to talk about, please get in contact with me via Agricultural Recruitment Specialists, which is

Owen, Would you like to say goodbye?

Owen: 36:40

Yes, goodbye everyone. It's been a pleasure this morning to speak to you, Rebekah and thank you for the invitation.

Rebekah: 36:46

Thanks so much, Owen. Goodbye from us, bye, bye.

Cta Default Image
businessmen walking through a dairy farm

Looking for


businessman shaking hand at interview

Looking for