SRUC projects receive innovation funding

A project which aims to keep calves with their mothers for longer is among three SRUC-led projects to share more than £143,000 from the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (KTIF).

At Rainton Farm in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway, dairy cows and their calves are kept together for five months (cow with calf system), while standard modern dairy farm practice involves separating the cow and calf within 24 hours of birth.

Led by Dr Marie Haskell, the project aims to use the ‘ethical dairy’ as a model to characterise the cow with calf system and on-farm rearing. Its purpose is to improve environmental and social aspects of farming. 

The SRUC project one of a total of six to share more than £340,000 in the latest round of KTIF investment.

Announcing the funding, Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “As we face a global climate emergency, investing and supporting innovative research within our agricultural sector has never been more important. Farming is sometimes singled out as a climate offender, often by those who do not fully understand or appreciate its importance to our rural communities, or the work our farmers do to protect our environment.

“With this latest funding the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund has now invested around £5.7 million in projects that will help us continue to grow a sustainable, vibrant and innovative rural economy.”

Mairi Gougeon, Rural Affairs Minister