Lithuania's LIFE Naturalit Integrated Project team recently held the first edition of the Good Farmer's Championship.
The wrong type of farming can damage the environment. However, many farmers are protecting nature through their work. It is essential to acknowledge these farmers and encourage others to be part of the solution and not the problem.
The Good Farmer's Championship did this by awarding farmers that grow healthy produce while improving biodiversity and the health of our countryside.
A panel of experts from nature and agriculture evaluated 22 farms initially proposed by local land associations and the public. They selected the top five who were subsequently named Good Farmer's Championship Ambassadors. The public then voted for their favourite farmer.
The overall public vote winner was a cattle-breeding farm that looks after natural meadows part of Natura 2000 – the world's largest coordinated network of protected areas.
The other four ambassadors were:
- An organic farm called Farmers Circle that has completely stopped ploughing
- An organic herb farm free from any chemicals and pesticides
- A cheesemaking farm complete with one hundred goats grazing freely
- Another organic farm that grows ryes and other grains and makes cheese.
The Good Farmer's Championship also honoured elderships actively developing land for agri-environmental measures. Elderships are the smallest administrative divisions in Lithuania, equivalent to wards or parishes.
This competition was inspired by Ireland's Farming for Nature initiative.
The Good Farmer's Championship supports the EU's Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the Farm to Fork Strategy – both core elements of the European Green Deal.
As last year's initiative was so successful, it will take place again later in 2022.
LIFE Naturalit aims to improve Lithuania's Natura 2000 network management system and ensure the favourable conservation status of targeted habitats and species.
Image: LIFE16 IPE/LT/000016. All rights reserved. Licensed to the European Union under conditions.
- 9 veebruar 2022
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