Talking With Farmers: Farming and Climate Change in the Machars, a documentary was filmed in September this year and produced by local company Machars Docs.
It features interviews with Christopher Nicholson, Colin Ferguson, Kenny Adams and William Moses on how innovative practice in agriculture, dairy and meat production can mitigate climate change impacts.
And it explores what the role of policymakers should be in providing top-level support.
The documentary seeks to challenge perceptions of farming that focus on methane emissions and hears from farmers themselves how they are working with nature to achieve carbon sequestration and increase biodiversity on their land.
Frustrations shared include the long wait for Scottish Government’s Agricultural Policy, with farmers working within a ‘policy void’ now that EU rules and regulations are no longer valid. Similarly, the government’s continued support for forestry plantation is frustrating efforts to promote soil health and biodiversity while reducing carbon emissions as per regional and national net zero goals.
Machars farmers project their role as custodians of the land: ready and able to make a much needed contribution to achieving carbon neutrality whilst supporting greater biodiversity, they are asking to participate in the policy development process and to secure clear directions before 2024.
Sheep and beef farmer Kenny Adams said: “I feel farming can be the solution to the environment problems, global warming. I think we, maybe, are getting a bad name but I think we could do so much more to mitigate the carbon and I just hope that it’s not too late.
“We’re just custodians in our time here, so it’s just a matter of keeping it right for the next time, the next generation.”
Filmmaker Willeke van Rijn added: “We want to highlight the approaches we are hearing from local farmers here in the Machars, coming from from a sector that seems strangely under-represented in the climate debate. There is great potential to bring farmers together not only for mutual support but to create a stronger collective voice that is more likely to be heard.”
Talking With Farmers is available to view on YouTube.