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Are you ready to support meaningful change for a sustainable future?

As veterinary professionals, we are in a unique position to take action and inspire others. As farm animal health professionals, we have privileged access to the farming businesses that represent our food system, the unrivalled trust of our clients, and a multidisciplinary skill set. With these tools, we are in an ideal position to help develop the sustainable food and farming system we need to meet the nutritional needs of our growing population, combat climate change, regenerate ecosystems, secure rural livelihoods and safeguard animal welfare.

Take a look at the course content in more detail with our free preview.

A Veterinary Approach to Sustainable Food and Farming will empower veterinary professionals working with farm animals to unlock their unique toolbox of skills and knowledge to help producers attain multiple sustainability objectives – for the benefit of the animals under our care, rural communities, wildlife and the wider environment. This online learning course has been written and developed by a collaborative team from Vet Sustain and VetSalus.

  • Sustainability course designed for veterinarians and paraprofessionals working with production animals

  • Self-Paced Online Learning Course

  • Designed to fit around busy work and life schedules

During this course you will study:

  • The Role of Veterinary Professionals in Sustainability

  • Farming Systems of the World

  • Better and Efficient Farming

  • Agro-ecological, organic, and regenerative agriculture

  • Driving Change and Sustainable and Regenerative Business

Course Curriculum

Take a closer look at the course, including some FREE lesson previews!

    1. Course overview

      FREE PREVIEW
    2. Welcome to the Course from Laura

    3. Welcome to the Course from David

    4. Modules

      FREE PREVIEW
    5. What to Expect

      FREE PREVIEW
    6. How to Navigate The Course - Top Tips

    7. Opening questionnaire

    8. Directory of recommended reading and resources

    9. About us

      FREE PREVIEW
    10. Glossary of Terms

    1. Brief overview

      FREE PREVIEW
    2. Module champion: Ruth Clements

      FREE PREVIEW
    3. TASK Module 1 Introductions

    4. 1.1 Introduction

      FREE PREVIEW
    5. 1.2 Sustainability 101

      FREE PREVIEW
    6. TASK 1.2 Sustainability 101

    7. 1.2.1 Sustainability 101

    8. 1.2.1 Quick quiz

    9. 1.3 The Anthropocene

    10. TASK 1.3 The Anthropocene

    11. DEEP DIVE 1.3 The Anthropocene

    12. 1.3.1 The Anthropocene

    13. DEEP DIVE 1.3.1 The Anthropocene

    14. 1.3.1 Quick quiz

    15. 1.4 Sustainability: a destination or journey?

    16. TASK 1.4 Sustainability: a destination or journey?

    17. 1.5 Meaningful change

    18. TASK 1.5 Meaningful change

    19. 1.5.1 Meaningful change

    20. TASK 1.5.1 Meaningful change

    21. 1.5.2 Meaningful change

    22. TASK 1.5.2 Meaningful change

    23. DEEP DIVE 1.5.2 Meaningful change

    24. 1.5.2 Quick quiz

    25. 1.6 Voluntary sustainability initiatives in food and farming

    26. DEEP DIVE 1.6 Voluntary sustainability initiatives in food and farming

    27. TASK 1.6 Voluntary sustainability initiatives in food and farming

    28. 1.7 Why veterinary professionals?

    29. 1.7.1 Why veterinary professionals?

    30. 1.7.2 Why veterinary professionals?

    31. TASK 1.7.2 Why veterinary professionals?

    32. 1.7.2 Quick quiz

    33. 1.8 A changing profession

    34. TASK 1.8 A changing profession

    35. DEEP DIVE 1.8 A changing profession

    36. Final reflection

    37. Introducing: The project

    38. Project Guidelines

    39. References and further reading

    1. Brief Overview

    2. Module champion: Rob Howe

    3. TASK Module 2 Introductions

    4. 2.1 Introduction

    5. 2.2 Sustainability in our own operations – why is it so important?

    6. TASK 2.2 Sustainability in our own operations – why is it so important?

    7. 2.2 Quick quiz

    8. 2.3 What are other sectors doing?

    9. DEEP DIVE 2.3 What are other sectors doing?

    10. TASK 2.3 What are other sectors doing?

    11. 2.4 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – responsible resource use

      FREE PREVIEW
    12. DEEP DIVE 2.4 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – responsible resource use

    13. 2.4.1 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – responsible resource use

    14. DEEP DIVE 2.4.1 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – responsible resource use

    15. 2.4.2 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – responsible resource use

    16. 2.5 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – sustainable operations

    17. TASK 2.5 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – sustainable operations

    18. TASK 2.5 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – sustainable operations

    19. DEEP DIVE 2.5 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – sustainable operations

    20. 2.5.1 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – sustainable operations

    21. DEEP DIVE 2.5.1 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – sustainable operations

    22. TASK 2.5.1 Discuss Telemedicine

    23. 2.5.1 Quick quiz

    24. 2.6 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – use medicines responsibly

    25. TASK 2.6 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – use medicines responsibly

    26. DEEP DIVE 2.6 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – use medicines responsibly

    27. 2.6 Quick quiz

    28. 2.7 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – empowering the team

    29. TASK 2.7 Sustainability in clinical veterinary settings – empowering the team

    30. 2.7 Quick quiz

    31. 2.8 Engaging and sustaining the whole veterinary team

    32. TASK 2.8 Engaging and sustaining the whole veterinary team

    33. DEEP DIVE 2.8 Engaging and sustaining the whole veterinary team

    34. 2.8.1 Engaging and sustaining the whole veterinary team

    35. Final reflection

    36. References and further reading

    1. Brief Overview

    2. Module champion: Alice Geddes

    3. TASK Module 3 Introductions

    4. 3.1 Sustainability Challenges in our Food Systems

    5. TASK 3.1 Sustainability Challenges in our Food Systems

    6. 3.2 Sustainability challenges – Environment

    7. DEEP DIVE 3.2 Sustainability challenges – Environment

    8. DEEP DIVE 3.2 Sustainability challenges – Environment

    9. 3.2.1 Sustainability challenges – Environment

    10. TASK 3.2.1 Sustainability challenges – Environment

    11. 3.2.3 Sustainability challenges - People & Animals

    12. DEEP DIVE 3.2.3 Sustainability challenges - People & Animals

    13. 3.2.4 Sustainability challenges - People

    14. DEEP DIVE 3.2.4 Sustainability challenges - People

    15. 3.3 Frameworks and approaches to consider sustainability challenges

    16. DEEP DIVE 3.3 Frameworks and approaches to consider sustainability challenges

    17. DEEP DIVE 3.3 Frameworks and approaches to consider sustainability challenges

    18. 3.3 Quick quiz

    19. 3.3.1 Ethics: People

    20. 3.3.2 Ethics: Animals

    21. TASK 3.3.2 Ethics: Animals

    22. 3.3.3 Ethics: Animals

    23. TASK 3.3.3 Ethics: Animals

    24. 3.4 Opportunities for change

    25. TASK 3.4 Opportunities for change

    26. 3.4 Quick quiz

    27. 3.5 Challenges or opportunities in food and farming – key debates

    28. DEEP DIVE 3.5 Challenges or opportunities in food and farming – key debates

    29. 3.5.1 Challenges or opportunities in food and farming – key debates

    30. TASK 3.5.1 Challenges or opportunities in food and farming – key debates

    31. 3.5.1 Quick quiz

    32. 3.6 Changing demand to address sustainability

    33. 3.6.1 Changing demand to address sustainability

    34. 3.6.1 Quick quiz

    35. Final Reflection

    36. References and further reading

    1. Brief Overview

    2. Module Champion: David Black

    3. TASK Module 4 Introductions

    4. 4.1 Why do we farm?

    5. TASK 4.1 Why do we farm?

    6. 4.1.1 Why do we farm?

    7. DEEP DIVE 4.1.1 Why do we farm?

    8. 4.1.1 Quick quiz

    9. 4.2 What do we farm?

    10. 4.3 Where do we farm?

    11. TASK 4.3 Where do we farm?

    12. 4.4 Farming systems

    13. DEEP DIVE 4.4 Farming systems

    14. 4.4.1 Farming systems

    15. 4.4.2 Farming systems

    16. DEEP DIVE 4.4.2 Farming systems

    17. TASK 4.4 Farming systems

    18. 4.5 What wild food do we catch and harvest?

    19. DEEP DIVE 4.5 What wild food do we catch and harvest?

    20. 4.5 Quick quiz

    21. 4.6 Farming Livelihoods

    22. TASK 4.6 Farming Livelihoods

    23. 4.6.1 Farming Livelihoods

    24. TASK 4.6.1 Farming Livelihoods

    25. 4.7 The role of veterinary professionals in different farming systems of the world

    26. DEEP DIVE 4.7 The role of veterinary professionals in different farming systems of the world

    27. 4.7 Quick quiz

    28. Final Reflection

    29. References

    1. Brief Overview

    2. Module Champion: Navaratnam Partheeban

    3. TASK Module 5 Introductions

    4. 5.1 Existing structures and classifications for ‘Better’ food and farming

    5. 5.1.1 Legislation and policy

    6. TASK 5.1.1 Legislation and policy

    7. 5.2 Assurance schemes

    8. TASK 5.2 Assurance schemes

    9. 5.2 Quick Quiz

    10. 5.3 Food business standards

    11. TASK 5.3 Food business standards

    12. 5.3.1 Food business standards

    13. DEEP DIVE 5.3.1 Food business standards

    14. 5.3.1 Quick Quiz

    15. 5.4 The role of veterinary professionals in farming standards

    16. 5.5 How can we assess which countries, companies and assurance schemes are supporting ‘Better’ farming?

    17. TASK 5.5 How can we assess which countries, companies and assurance schemes are supporting ‘Better’ farming?

    18. DEEP DIVE 5.5 How can we assess which countries, companies and assurance schemes are supporting ‘Better’ farming?

    19. 5.5.1 Labour Rights Index

    20. TASK 5.5.1 Assurance Schemes

    21. 5.5.2 Animal Welfare

    22. DEEP DIVE 5.5.2 Animal Welfare

    23. DEEP DIVE 5.5.2 Animal Welfare

    24. DEEP DIVE 5.5.2 Animal Welfare

    25. 5.5.2 Quick quiz

    26. 5.6 On-farm tools to measure ‘Better’ farming outcomes

    27. TASK 5.6 On-farm tools to measure ‘Better’ farming outcomes

    28. TASK 5.6 On-farm tools to measure ‘Better’ farming outcomes

    29. 5.6.1 On-farm tools to measure ‘Better’ farming outcomes

    30. DEEP DIVE 5.6 On-farm tools to measure ‘Better’ farming outcomes

    31. 5.6 Quick quiz

    32. 5.7 The importance of metrics

    33. DEEP DIVE 5.7 The importance of metrics

    34. 5.7.1 The importance of metrics

    35. DEEP DIVE 5.7.1 The importance of metrics

    36. TASK 5.7.1 The importance of metrics

    37. 5.7.1 Quick quiz

    38. Final reflection

    39. References

About this course

  • £1,500.00
  • 354 lessons
  • Live and Recorded Tutorials from Course Facilitator
  • Interactive Content including Charts and Figures, as well as videos from Module Champions
  • Opportunity for Deep Dives and Recommended Reading

Pricing Options

Overseas businesses can purchase the course exclusive of VAT. All UK residents and overseas individuals are subject to VAT.


If you require an invoice or VAT receipt please email [email protected]

Similarly, if you are an overseas business and would like to enrol on our course, select the non-VAT price and contact our team with your business details.

Hear what those who have joined the course have to say:

The course experience has been excellent!

Christine U, Farm Vet, NZ

The course experience has been excellent - I like the module system, the 'deep dives' and variety of course material, quizzes etc. Have enjoyed the forum/WhatsApp chats and the Zoom meetings too.

It's definitely living up to expectations!

Hannah K, Farm Vet, UK

I am thoroughly enjoying the course so far and am really pleased to be doing the training. I have been interested in food systems for a long time and have been waiting for some CPD that really covered this fast moving and complex area. It's definitely living up to expectations!

Challenging, enlightening and motivating!

Tom W, Farm Vet, UK

A fascinating, in-depth exploration of sustainable food production and the role practitioners hold in shaping our farming practices, both current and future. I found it challenging, enlightening and above all, motivating. It enables us as farm advisors to guide clients through the many changing expectations (and opportunities) within agriculture.

This course is opening my eyes to the impacts that we can each make

Hannah D, Veterinary Clinical Teaching Fellow from the University of Surrey and Vet Sustain Technical Content Lead

This course is opening my eyes to the impacts that we can each make as individuals, as well as the simple conversations we can have to drive sustainability in practice/on farm. It has also helped me to understand the broader impacts of climate change that are further reaching globally which has been interesting.

Really interesting course!

Tom Jenkins, Clyde Vet Group

It was a really interesting course and already proven useful in day to day practice

Meet Your Course Facilitators

Course Author Alexandra Tomlinson MA Vet MB MSc PhD Dip ECZM (Wildlife Population Health) MRCVS

Alex Tomlinson qualified as a veterinarian from Cambridge University in 1992. After spells in mixed practice and a teaching position at Hartpury University, Alex specialised in wildlife health, beginning with an MSc in Wild Animal Health from the Royal Veterinary College/Institute of Zoology, followed by a position as a wildlife pathologist. From there, she progressed to a PhD from Liverpool University, studying the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in free-living badgers at Woodchester Park in Gloucestershire. Since 2013, Alex has been self-employed, working on wildlife conservation projects with Wildlife Vets International, as a veterinary consultant for the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), and most recently working with sankalpa on regenerative food systems and their role in supporting human, animal and environmental health in the widest possible sense.

Ruth Clements BSc Hons, BVM&S, MRCVS

Ruth Clements graduated as a Veterinary Surgeon from Edinburgh University in 2008 and has a degree in molecular biology. Ruth lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, daughters and an assortment of animals. She started working in sustainable agriculture in 2002, joining FAI Farms full time in 2010 leading their veterinary sustainability programmes. She continues to work for the Benchmark group to date. Ruth developed a holistic management framework to tackle lameness in sheep and the resulting “5 Point Plan” approach has been accepted by industry stakeholders as the national control strategy against this disease, with prevalence levels and associated antibiotic use in the UK steadily declining. She now takes these principles across agriculture and aquaculture, looking towards tackling some of the most challenging disease-based blockers to sustainable production in various sectors. Ruth has been involved in the creation and evolution of Vet Sustain and has a strong interest in the development of farming systems and innovative health management. She now chairs the Food and Farming Working Group for Vet Sustain and sits on the scientific advisory group for Roslin Technologies Ltd.

Lewis Griffiths BVMS MBA MRCVS

Lewis graduated from Glasgow University in 1978 and initially returned to his native west Wales to work in mixed, predominantly dairy practice. Having emigrated from Wales to New Zealand in 1990, he formed Riverside Veterinary Services in Ashburton and supervised the rapid growth of this practice into one of the largest in New Zealand at that time. Lewis was awarded an MBA from Canterbury University in 2005. In recent years, Lewis has developed a growing interest in climate change and sustainable agriculture and this has led to his role with VetSalus. Lewis is convinced that the veterinary profession has a major contribution to make in the “race to zero”.

What Students Can Expect From The Course

  • Discussion Forums

    Students will have the opportunity to join and interact with a community of like minded veterinary professionals taking the course at the same time

  • Online Tutorials

    Option to attend live (recorded) online tutorials at the beginning, middle and end of the course to consolidate the learning material, address specific questions and participate in discussions

  • LANTRA Certificate

    Upon completion of the course and submission of an assignment (max 2500 words), successful students will receive a LANTRA accredited certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Am I eligible to sign up for the course?

  • The course is aimed at veterinarians and those working in vet-led businesses, and whilst there are no specific requirements, all students are expected to have undertaken an undergraduate degree, technical qualification as a paraprofessional, or a relevant diploma. If you are unsure please contact us before you enrol on the course.

  • How much is the course?

  • The full price of the course will be £1,250 +VAT per student. Overseas (non-UK) businesses may be eligible for a non-VAT price of £1,250, please contact us for more information.

  • How long with the course take me to complete?

  • We expect each module to take between 3 and 5hours to complete over the course of 6-9 months (there are 10 modules = up to 50 hours). In addition there are a number of deep dives and a list of further reading for those interested in a particular area or wishing to expand their knowledge further. We highly recommend diarising regular study sessions to keep progressing through the course content.

  • How much support with I have during the course?

  • There will be a live (and recorded) tutorial with the community and course organisers at the beginning, middle and end of the course to consolidate the learning material, address specific questions and participate in discussions. Students will also join a community of veterinary professionals all taking the course at the same time, to help each other along the way.

  • What do I need to accomplish in order to complete the course and receive my LANTRA accredited certificate?

  • During the course there will be tasks and quick quizzes to solidify learning throughout the course. At the end of the course, you will also be required to submit an assignment which will be reviewed by our course organisers, with either a pass or fail awarded to each student. In this assignment, you should set out how you would support a farm animal client during their transition to more sustainable ways of farming. We’re looking for evidence that you can apply your knowledge to a practical scenario - which can either be fictitious, semi-fictitious or a real-life farming client, whom you may or may not wish to engage with as part of the project. Your submission should take the form of a written report, case study or essay, of a maximum of 2500 words. Alongside your written piece, you may optionally choose to submit an audio recording, interview or video.

Meet our Course Authors

Laura Higham

BVM&S MSc MRCVS

Laura Higham is a Director of Vet Sustain and veterinary consultant in sustainable livestock production at the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), working alongside food businesses to drive sustainability in commercial supply chains, with a focus on animal welfare and responsible antibiotic use. Having previously worked in the charity sector implementing projects to support animal-based livelihoods in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, she has a deep interest in the intersect between international development and animal health and welfare, and the wider roles of vets in society. Laura is a PhD researcher in antimicrobial use and animal welfare in agriculture at The Global Academy for Agriculture and Food Security at Edinburgh University, and holds an MSc in international animal health.
Alex Tomlinson

Ashleigh Bright

BSc MSc DPhil

Ashleigh Bright is a freelance animal welfare and sustainability consultant based in New Zealand. Ashleigh was the Head of Science at FAI for 15 years, before which she completed her BSc and MSc in animal behaviour at Waikato University in New Zealand and a PhD in animal welfare at the University of Oxford. Ashleigh’s core interest is the complex challenge facing global food production, applying robust science in a practical and commercial context, to ensure farmers and their supply chain partners have the knowledge and insight they need to grow food sustainably.
Alex Tomlinson

Alex Tomlinson

MA Vet MB MSc PhD Dip ECZM (Wildlife Population Health) MRCVS

Alex Tomlinson qualified as a veterinarian from Cambridge University in 1992. After spells in mixed practice and a teaching position at Hartpury University, Alex specialised in wildlife health, beginning with an MSc in Wild Animal Health from the Royal Veterinary College/Institute of Zoology, followed by a position as a wildlife pathologist. From there, she progressed to a PhD from Liverpool University, studying the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in free-living badgers at Woodchester Park in Gloucestershire. Since 2013, Alex has been self-employed, working on wildlife conservation projects with Wildlife Vets International, as a veterinary consultant for the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), and most recently working with sankalpa on regenerative food systems and their role in supporting human, animal and environmental health in the widest possible sense.
Alex Tomlinson

About VetSalus

Wholesome Food From Healthy Animals

VetSalus is a committed group of international veterinarians with expertise in all aspects of ‘One Health’, in particular animal health, welfare and sustainable agriculture. We seek to contribute to global food strategy, particularly around animal health and welfare and sustainable agriculture, and develop relationships and networks, to build capacity and collaborate globally.