As I look forward to 2016 I am looking out onto a landscape affected by the severe weather that accompanied Christmas in the UK this year. Our local river (River Dee) is at it’s highest level since 1928 and Aberdeenshire, as well as many other parts of Britain, is facing months of cleaning up. This reminds me how important it is that the agronomic community works together to overcome the current and future challenges that ever changing weather patterns bring to the farming community.  These thoughts fit well with the theme of our next biennial Congress organised by SRUC with the Association of Applied Biologists which is Growing Landscapes – Cultivating Innovative Agriculture Systems. The conference theme “Growing Landscapes – Cultivating innovative agricultural systems” recognizes that agriculture is the dominant use of land in Europe. Most of our landscapes are places where food and fibre is grown for our use, but they also provide us with a wide range of ecosystem goods and services. Agronomic research underpins the development and management of innovative agricultural systems from crop to field to landscape scale and seeks to balance the delivery of all ecosystem services from land. The congress will be the opportunity to share the latest findings from research and practice, build new networks and collaborations and explore the relationship between land and food in Scotland – The Land of Food and Drink.

The local organizing committee is working away at arrangements for lectures, field trips and fun! The Congress Dinner is booked for the National Museum of Scotland ( and I am already looking forward to that evening. We are also hoping to offer you a visit to the Whisky Centre, a pipe band and possibly ghost walks through Edinburgh. The Congress takes place just after the Edinburgh International Festival ( and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe ( so why not bring your family or friends to Edinburgh too?


To see full 4 page STICS Training Day Programme, Description and Pre-Regististartion PDF click the link below


Key conference contacts:

Christine Watson – ESA President, AAB President-Elect, SRUC

Elizabeth Stockdale – AAB General Secretary, Newcastle University

Carol Millman – AAB Executive Officer

Guest speakers:

Oborn, Ingrid (ICRAF)

Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy

Paolo Barberi

Molly Jahn

Lang, Timothy