Mentoring – Supporting Individuals Through Agroecological Transition and Growth


Mentoring – Supporting Individuals Through Agroecological Transition and Growth

Jonty, our Head of Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems, is working as a trained

mentor within a 2-year pilot project run by the Landworkers’ Alliance in partnership with the Organic

Growers Alliance, CSA Network and Ecological Land Coop.


Mentoring is the process by which an experienced and trusted person offers support, advice and

guidance to others. A mentor is not there to provide ‘the answers’, but to guide the mentee towards

‘the answer’ that is right for them. It's about motivating and empowering the other person to

identify their own issues and goals and helping them to find ways of resolving or reaching them - not

by doing it for them or expecting them to 'do it the way I did', but by understanding and respecting different ways of working.


A positive mentoring relationship between an experienced farmer/grower and a new entrant in the

first years of running a land-based enterprise is extremely valuable and can have a significant impact

on the development of the business and the individual.


Jonty is currently supporting two agro-ecological businesses. Both businesses are complex and are

delivering a range of wonderful products (from raw cheese to salad crops and pastured beef) and

outcomes, but both face challenges. How to develop further? What are the priorities? What lessons

can be shared? Who can help with key technical questions?


‘Being a farmer or grower can sometimes feel very isolating and finding time to lift ones chin up to

see the bigger picture, to imagine, to test new ideas is hard’ says Jonty. ‘It’s incredibly rewarding

being a mentor, nurturing passionate individuals and seeing the change. I have learnt lots too!’

The LWA pilot is aimed at people who are farming to organic/agroecological principles. The

programme is currently full/closed for 2021 but it will hopefully lead to a bigger scheme later in the

year.


The FarmED team are also helping to develop and lead a new mentoring programme aimed at

regenerative farmers, those interested in developing Community Supported Agriculture schemes

and new entrants in Gloucestershire. This will be launched soon and more information will follow.

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Cotswold Seeds Ltd

FarmED: Farm & Food Education

Cotswold Seeds Ltd has been supported by the Cotswolds LEADER Programme towards the construction of the education building. It is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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