The mission of the BGS has remained the same for 60 years and it is just as relevant today as it was in 1945. This shows the strength of vision and purpose of Sir George Stapledon and his co-founders.
This update contains the detail of the society's aims and objectives and its activities over the last 10 years since the 50th anniversary history was written. Basically, the BGS is about making grassland farming work. Work for the benefit of farm profitability, for the benefit of the farmed environment, for the benefit of the public who eat the food and enjoy the countryside that grassland farming provides.
The BGS makes this happen by bringing together all of those interested in the topic; providing them with a forum to learn from each other and progress. This is vital and the strength in depth of experience within the society is a force for good. For example, many farmers have benefited from the discussion groups on grazing that the BGS has been a central initiator of in the last 10 years. These groups focus on managing grass and forage for profit and use farm recording and comparative benchmarking to forward their progress. The concept of data recording was pushed by BGS grassland scientists in the 1950s and 1960s (known as the ‘grass recording initiative’ at the time). This experience (together with its updating and implementation) keeps the society relevant.
But there are new challenges ahead and changes that require thought and action. Farmers and farming are changing, as this review strikingly captures, and the society must change with them. Our communications must include modern tools and our message needs to be taken to the young enthusiasts in the industry in a way which helps them progress and continue the society itself, well into the next 60 years.
The BGS is for all grassland people: farmers and farm managers, scientists, advisers and consultants, students, lecturers, trade and business. We all benefit from the society and must keep up our active participation and support. If you are in the grassland and forage community and you are not a member of BGS, this document will show you what you are missing and will attract you to come and join us.
BGS is a membership organisation which acts as a communication forum, through events and publications, for the profitable and sustainable use of grass and forage.