Could You Change Our Agricultural Systems For The Better In 2018?
This is a turbulent yet exciting period for agricultural workers and agronomists. Things are changing at an unprecedented rate and those who refuse to change are likely going to be left by the wayside. Agriculture is important now – but moving forward, it will be one of the most important things in the world – and that is a statement free from hyperbole. We are talking about feeding ourselves as a species, after all – something that will only become more challenging as the years go on.
Sustainability is bandied around as a buzz word far too frequently. But it is worthwhile trying to apply the term when it comes to farming. Sustainable farming is farming that can be carried out into the future: it uses practices that do not degrade the soil, or squander other resources. Unfortunately, many of our current agricultural systems are not sustainable.
For those of us with an interest in agriculture of the future, the proliferation of sustainable practice is considered essential – not just for businesses and individuals, but for the very survival of our species on this planet. When you take an interest in agricultural reform, you will realise that the stakes really are that high.
The widespread use of pesticides and herbicides may seem essential to many. However, reform of agricultural practice would make it possible to leave behind our dependence on these polluting substances and to take better care of our planet while still making sure that we can grow food for our ever-expanding population.
Tilling and other practices are destroying our top soils at an alarming rate. Experts believe that if we continue as we are, with our current agricultural practices, then we may have fewer than one hundred harvests left!
The great news is that technology is moving on in leaps and bounds and we are learning ever more about our environments and how to work with them to achieve the yields we need to survive as a species. Scientific endeavour is showing us a way out of the hole that we have dug for ourselves over the last century – but are we going to take it?
Farming reform is not a simple matter in some respects, but in other respects, it could not be simpler. Permaculture, a design schema for food growth systems, offers solutions to many of the current problems of non-sustainability in farming around the world. Permaculture is a term made up of the words 'permanent' and 'agriculture' (now often broadened to 'culture' and applied to all different areas of life). The term has been around since the 1970s and has now spread, from its origins in Tasmania, all around the world.
Permaculture is both a philosophy and a very practical framework for sustainable agriculture. The principles of permaculture give farmers, agronomists and others guidelines for the design and implementation of sustainable systems. A synthesis of a whole range of 'green' agricultural thinking and practice, permaculture is a fascinating field and could offer hope for the future of food production and farming on this planet.
Broadly speaking, there are three tenets of permaculture: care for the planet, care for other people and a return of surplus to the system. Permaculture espouses working with nature rather than fighting against it. Smaller, more intensively grown areas of organic production are key to permaculture thought. Rather than the huge fields of mono-crop agriculture, and polluting factory farms, permaculture offers a future of polyculture planting, agroforestry and closed-loop farms which recycle all their own waste to power the future.
In permaculture practice, the land and indeed the whole ecosystem are cared for and even improved. One of the most amazing things about this way of farming is that it can be used to reclaim areas of land long thought by most to be unusable for crops. The desert can and has been 'greened' and permaculture farms established in the most unlikely of landscapes. Land reform of this type offers hope for severely degraded landscapes all over the world.
Many are now realising that permaculture could offer a way forward for much of our food production post-peak oil and peak phosphorus. But how will we fare at making the all-important transition? It is clear that the industry as a whole will have to change. But who will change it? Could you be part of that change? No one is saying that the path will always be easy, but by embracing sustainable solutions such as those found in permaculture – there will be a future in farming for more people than ever before.
Jobs For Our Future
If you want to make the world a better place, getting involved in agricultural reform would be a good place to start. There are plenty of ways in which you could influence farming for the better from the inside of the industry. You could work as an agronomist, for example, helping to show farmers the truths of soil erosion and the benefits of landscape reform. Or perhaps you will work the land yourself? Agricultural related jobs come in all shapes and sizes and finding one could mean that you could help shape our food growing practices of tomorrow.
Perhaps you will be a land manager, or a director of operations on a large farm and could oversee trials in agroforestry or polyculture planting. Perhaps you could work in a technical capacity, working to produce power for agricultural buildings from renewable sources, or perhaps you are in sales, and can 'sell' the idea of organic produce in new and innovative ways.
Growing food may have been undervalued in the past. But today there is a growing realisation that those in jobs in the agricultural industry are at the cutting edge of change, and really could help to save our warming planet. As Agricultural Recruitment Specialists we can help you to find your perfect job in the sector – it is up to you to produce the changes you wish to see.
Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are the UK and worldwide market leader in agricultural, farming, horticultural and food recruitment.
If you are looking for a new role, please send us your CV in complete confidence to info@agriRS.co.uk and one of our consultants will call you to discuss your options.
Alternatively, if you are a client looking to grow your team, then please contact our highly successful team on 01905 345 155.
If you would like to find out more about Agricultural Recruitment Specialists Ltd, then please visit www.agriRS.co.uk