Yorkshire sheep farmer follows in his grandfather's footsteps as Nuffield Scholar looking at how animals can lead the way on soil health

A third generation farmer from Yorkshire has been awarded a leading scholarship which will take him across the globe to research how livestock can play a key role in improving soil quality and ensuring agricultural businesses remain financially viable.

Sheep farmer Alistair Trickett who has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship funded by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. He is pictured with Nigel Pulling.

A third generation farmer from Yorkshire has been awarded a leading scholarship which will take him across the globe to research how livestock can play a key role in improving soil quality and ensuring agricultural businesses remain financially viable.

Alastair Trickett has been awarded a Nuffield Scholarship to look at how livestock on arable farms can heal soils and increase financial sustainability.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Trickett, whose grandfather, Michael Trickett, was also a Nuffield scholar, has been funded for the work by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society along with support from the National Trust.

His studies will take him to Australia, North America, Africa and Europe.

Billy is still flying the flag for Charolais after 50 years developing the Brampton herdSheep farmer Chris working on a new hybrid breed he plans to call a 'Yorkie'Mr Trickett, a sheep farmer from Arthington in Wharfedale who is also the chairman of Future Farmers of Yorkshire, said: “Soil is really, really important to civilization.

“Without soil you have no food in supermarkets, that’s the reality. You look back through history and see civilisations collapse once they exhaust their soils.

“We have got to look after it and I believe, contrary to what we read in popular titles, that animals are the key to unlocking a food production system that regenerates the environment. I’m really looking forward to seeing how farmers across the world are using animals to regenerate their farms and to produce food in a more environmental way.”

Alistair Trickett's grandfather and fellow Nuffield Scholar, Michael Trickett.

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s chief executive, Nigel Pulling, added: “Alistair is looking at some really key areas in shaping the future of farming – increasing profits and sustainability being at the heart of this.”

Mr Trickett is one of two Nuffield scholars from Yorkshire, along with Hannah Senior, the managing director of PBS International, who is looking at the role agri-tech can play in the future of farming.