I have spent a decade building a career, following a path I was unsure of and shoehorning my passions into my spare time.
The time has come for me to take a step into the unknown, reduce my paid working commitments and undertake an MSc in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources.
This will give me the skills, knowledge and community support to begin actively working towards addressing climate change by contributing to the much needed redesign of UK agricultural and food systems.
In reading “The Hidden Cost of UK Food” (Fitzpatrick & Young, 2017) I was struck by the opportunity that exists in the redesign of agroecosystems to harness agroecological processes and minimise environmental impacts.
The human element and the behaviour of consumers, producers and policy makers in setting the direction of travel for food production, that fully considers agricultural systems as being within, of and for the environment is one that has huge potential.
the agricultural and environmental science elements of this required paradigm
shift, there is an adaptive challenge to harness social capital in resolving
landscape-scale or system-wide problems.
By presenting the multiple food, environmental and social outputs and impacts of our food system, I aim to engage with the public through the lens of climate action and farmers through a range of farming networks to promote sustainable, regenerative practice that sets food production as the model example of a ‘triple bottom line’ - financial stability, environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
We all have to eat, and in taking an educative and considered approach to that certainty, I aim to broaden understanding of the true impact of consumer choices and agricultural practices on the environment.
To engage fully in this Masters programme, I have reduced my work commitments, thereby reducing my financial income. As a resident of Scotland studying remotely at a Welsh institution, I am unable to access a post graduate loan or other funding support, so am approaching this programme as a fully self-funded student.
I am passionate about making a difference to food systems, specifically within my local environment, and have decided to pursue this degree in order to gain the skills needed to do that more effectively, despite having to make a number of sacrifices in order to do so.
Supporting my cause would make a massive difference to my financial situation, and would enable me to more quickly seek out opportunities to fully utilise the skills and knowledge this programme will equip me with, thus facilitating my impact in this crucially important field.