Skip to main content
Stabiliser cattle in beef shed


Our commercial mixed-use farm spans 300 hectares, including 120 hectares of arable, 300 sows and gilts, 85 suckler cows and 300 sheep. We are focused on developing the farm to ensure that it is a sustainable business, which Bishop Burton students can learn from.

Aiming for Carbon Net-Zero

Our work is centred around an ambitious target – to reach carbon net-zero by 2030, which is ten years ahead of NFU’s aim for farming nationally. We are committed to being carbon negative, whilst ensuring that we remain a viable food production business.

At a time when costs are soaring within agriculture, becoming more carbon efficient isn’t only better for the environment but is most cost efficient too.


We grow a variety of crops across 120 hectares, with diverse rotation and the use of cover cropping. Our focus is on improving soil health and using technology to reduce artificial inputs. We have also implemented a direct drilling system.


When it comes to our livestock, we are focused on net feed efficiency. We have been reducing our reliance on imported protein and are proud that we are now feeding only homegrown products. It’s great to have our arable and livestock working together, by using manures and slurries to reduce our artificial inputs and to increase our organic matter levels in the soil.

Our Stabiliser cattle were chosen because they are incredibly efficient and perform consistently. Currently, we have 85 suckler cows, and our objective is to produce high quality breeding stock. Similarly, our flock of 300 Aberfield sheep are selectively bred to be low input and high output. We are advocates of using technologies such as genomics and electronic identification recording.

Our new state-of-the-art Centre for Pig Industry Training, which launched in November 2023, is a collaboration with industry leaders White Rose Farms Ltd, part of Cranswick PLC. The Centre has allowed us to welcome over 300 sows and we anticipate up to 10,000 piglets being born every year. It has been designed and developed to leverage technologies and modern farrowing practices to farm pigs sustainably and ethically, without compromising on production.

Precision Agriculture

We are using a range of new technologies, including precision agriculture techniques, to help us toward our carbon net-zero goal. As part of the Yorkshire and Humber Institute for Technology, we have access to Bishop Burton’s Centre for Precision Agriculture, which assists with this. This is a significant regional hub to support our students and the local farming community to be able to implement precision technologies in industry.


Bishop Burton is an Agrii Net Zero iFarm, which provides our students with the opportunity to access the latest research. This includes seed rates, seed treatments, cover crop mixes and yellow rust monitoring.

We also collaborate with Bishop Burton’s academic staff and students on research projects.

Meet the Farm Team

BB Placeholder

James Richardson

Farm Manager

James studied agriculture at Bishop Burton College from 2008 to 2010, before returning home to work on his family’s beef and sheep hill farm in Derbyshire.

He joined Dyson Farming as a herdsperson in 2019, working in Gloucestershire, before joining us as Farm Manager in 2021.

James oversees the running of the commercial farm, as well as working with our students and academics to ensure they are learning from the facilities on campus. His passion lies in regenerative farming and achieving zero net carbon, while retaining very high standards of day-to-day operations and animal welfare.

Course Search How to Apply Open Event Booking