In 2012, common ideals and goals led a diverse group of scientists to create a vision of sustainable and responsible production of healthy food from healthy animals. Stimulated by the inspirational environment of Thiruvazhamkunnu, the group went on to develop that vision to a fuller understanding of the potential of a Global Farm Platform for optimisation of grazing livestock production systems. The ethos of this vision, summarised in our Position Paper, ‘Steps to Sustainable Livestock’, is now shared by a partnership of numerous scientists in world-leading universities and agricultural research institutions in six continents. Our joint Statement of Intent summarises shared goals and our strategy to achieve them. We welcome approaches from others with similar interests.
- To establish a global academic network to promote farm research platforms for optimisation of ruminant livestock production and hence contribute to food security, sustainability and poverty alleviation.
- To exchange knowledge, methodologies and data on global farm platforms for ruminant livestock among academics, through workshops, regional training sessions and international research project development.
- To provide international experience, outlook and knowledge to academic staff involved in the development and operation of farm research platforms for ruminant livestock production, through staff placements and exchanges.
The Global Farm Platform partnership brings together the University of Alberta (Canada), the University of Bristol (UK), Kansas State University (USA), Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University (India), the Instituto National de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA, Uruguay), The University of Leeds (UK), Massey University (New Zealand), Penn State University (USA), Rothamsted Research (UK), the University of Sydney (Australia), the University of Western Australia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and Zhejiang University (China). The key partners already have a strong history of working together, and are each linked to a number of relevant institutions that will make further valuable contributions to the Global Farm Platform.
This partnership will allow flow of skills and knowledge across each farm platform to ascertain the most efficient production system in contrasting climatic conditions. Key lessons learnt from these farm platforms can then help inform policy makers in the participating countries of the most efficient and therefore sustainable systems for livestock production.