National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

20 December 2019

Agriculture is on the brink of major change and a new event is set to challenge young farmers about their future in the industry.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) will be hosting its AGRI Forum, sponsored by KUHN Farm Machinery and supported by Defra, on 5 February 2020 with the provocative title Fit in or Fade Out!

The event will be held at Daylesford in Gloucestershire – one of the most sustainable, organic farms in the UK and will involve leading industry figures discussing the challenges and opportunities for a farming and rural future. Delegates will also see how Daylesford’s organic system operates, alongside examples from Agricology on agroecological practices in all farming systems to adapt to a resilient, sustainable model of food production.

The event is open to YFC members and those from the industry interested in taking part in what promises to be an insightful and engaging debate. The event will comprise a Daylesford farm tour, five themed discussion groups with industry, farming and the Agricology project leads as well as a panel debate.

David Goodwin, NFYFC’s Agirculture and Rural Issues (AGRI) chairman and Warwickshire mixed farmer, said:

“Young farmers will be able to hear voices that may well have different perspectives from their own. Our aim is to stimulate conversation and understanding of the considerations for future farming and rural policy.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Agricology at Daylesford Farm, industry figures, lobbying leads and entrepreneurs to host the AGRI Forum 2020. We’re also grateful for the ongoing support of KUHN and Defra to enable us to develop and deliver the event.”

The new format for the forum was piloted this year in Derbyshire when NFYFC AGRI held an event called Take Control of Your Future. Following on from its success the AGRI steering group decided to host future annual forums at key agricultural sites around the UK so more young farmers can be part of the discussions.

NFYFC’s AGRI steering group’s vice chairman George Baxter said:

“It’s a time of change in farming and we really need to make sure that we are continually contributing to the on-going policy conversations. Not with all the usual suspects but with those who have different views and will challenge and communicate their ideas.

“We have something for everyone on 5 February including a farm walk, themed discussion workshops and a debate on future food and farming.”

Anyone interested in attending the event can secure their place for £10 via Eventbrite. The event starts at 10.30am and concludes at 6pm with supper.

Programme

10.30 am –  Arrive/coffee

11-12.30 pm –  Welcome and Daylesford Farm visit

12.30 pm  –  Lunch

1.30 pm –  Introduction – NFYFC, KUHN, Daylesford and Agricology. 
Daylesford Market Garden/Horticulture tour

2.30 pm –  Group workshops

  1. How can agroecology enhance your farm? - Agricology’s Katie Bliss and Ian Wilkinson.
  2. Integrate and innovate - National Sheep Association's (NSA) CEO Phil Stocker and and Sarah Carr, Farm491's Innovation Specialist. The future of the sheep industry - automation, adoption of technology, changing skills and an alternative workforce.
  3. What will the future bring? - Compassion in World Farming’s Senior Policy Manager, James West.
  4. Sustainable farming - How Now Dairy - Oliver Lee - young dairy entrepreneur
  5. Good practice - Robin Levin, Agriculture Manager UK & Ireland, SAI Global UK Assurance.

3.45 pm           Discussion groups’ feedback

4:15 pm           Tea

4:30 pm           Video

4:45 pm           Panel debate

5:45 pm           Summary of discussion and thanks

6.00 pm           Supper


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