Cambridgeshire farmer wins…

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…scholarship to study arable production world-wide.

James Peck travels to Washington from his Cambridgeshire home next week (March 7) on the first of part of a world study tour which will take him to the major areas of arable production. Awarded one of the 21 Nuffield Farming Scholarships which have been made this year he will be investigating the constraints on water and the increasing demand for fuel.

James Peck

The 33 year old farmer who is vice-chairman of Cambridgeshire CLA (Country Land and Business Association) will be travelling for eight weeks in all. His study topic is Arable farming, where next and how do we get there? He will be looking for the answers in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, America, Australia and Russia.

“We are at a crucial point for food production,” he explains. “We farmers are going to have to provide vastly more food for a rapidly growing world population and we shall have to do so under the restrictions of climate change. At the same time we will have to ensure that the environment does not suffer. That’s a tall order, and it’s why I believe it is imperative to establish the nature of food production now and how we are going to meet the challenges ahead.”

Constraints on water all over the globe and intense need for fuel – electricity especially – is the reason why James will be taking particular research into these two areas. Already at home he is seeking to reduce dependence upon electricity from the grid and to use less heating oil for houses and businesses at the farm and to dry grain. ‘Harvesting’ rainwater from roofs in order to cut consumption is also under consideration.

James lives and runs his business P.X.Farms Ltd at Scotland Farm, Dry Drayton near Cambridge where the family has farmed for four generations. He established the enterprise, of which he is managing director, in 2003 when he was 26. Since then it has grown from 1600 acres – the family’s own land and three other farms – to a total of 2800 acres on nine farms. The business encompasses a haulage operation specialising in combinable crops and has a contract to store grain at the farm in a newly-constructed store of 26,500 tonnes capacity.

He is able to take time out to travel because of his dedicated team of staff and modern day communications which will keep him in touch throughout with all that is happening with the business. With other Nuffield scholars he will first spend a week in Washington and Pennsylvania where he will be given a thorough grounding in the work he will be undertaking and what will be expected of him. His report, running to 10,000 words, will be used to help advance agriculture, and he will be required to give a presentation at the major Nuffield winter conference.

For further information:

Sally Smith, CLA: 01553 764422 or 07729 448046
James Peck: 01954 210211 or 01954 211123 or 07976 939596

Notes to Editors

JAMES PECK is a former Farmers Weekly Young Farmer of the Year. He has helped raise funds to support local charities and maintain the grounds of Dry Drayton Church. On the farm he has created permissive rights of way to link a number of footpaths together to make a continuous walk for the local community.

P.X.Farms Ltd is an agricultural contracting company. www.pxfarms.com

*NUFFIELD FARMING SCHOLARSHIPS. Founded in 1943 by the original benefactor, the late Lord Nuffield (William Morris), the present Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust was subsequently established in 1947 and is dedicated to developing leadership in farming and the rural industries. The UK Trust forms part of a much wider organisation operating in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe. Since its establishment, the trust has offered over 600 opportunities at home and more than 1000 worldwide for individuals with vision and energy to develop themselves and make a difference to agriculture and land-based industries.

Funded by the agriculture and food industries, charities and trusts with agricultural objectives, as well as past scholars themselves, the UK Trust presents around 20 new awards each year to enthusiastic individuals aged between 22 and 45 years old. Each scholar is provided with travel and subsistence costs for a period of eight weeks in return for a written paper and the presentation of study findings at an annual winter conference. For more information visit www.nuffieldscholar.org

THE CLA. As a membership organisation, the CLA supports landowners and rural businesses and communities, assessing and commenting upon national and regional policy and lobbying government on their behalf. There is a team of experts in London and a regional structure able to give local support. The CLA has been looking after the interests of its members, as well as promoting the positive aspects of land ownership and land management, for over 100 years.

CLA members own approximately half the rural land in England and Wales, and the resulting expertise puts the organisation in a unique position to formulate policies and lobby effectively.

Source: Country Land & Business Association

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