National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Grassland Training

NFYFC are working in association with the British Grassland Society to provide a FREE Grassland Training day and an exciting competition. The event is worth 5 Dairy Pro CPD points

Following the success of last years training day we have organised the second event to be held on 17th September 2014 at Eastfield Farm, North Perrott, Crewkerne, Somerset, TA18 7SW.

The farm is managed on a share farming agreement by Matthew Senior a finalist in BGS Grass Farmer of the Year 2012.

The aims of the day are for participants to come away with improved knowledge and ideas to implement on their farms at home to improve their grassland management and therefore increase profitability of their farms.

There will be a range of speakers organised by BGS who are experts in the various factors of good grassland management to provide a wealth of knowledge. There will also be the opportunity to walk the farm and quiz Matthew and the other speakers on their techniques.

This day is a fantastic opportunity for anyone in the livestock industry to further their knowledge.

The training will start at 10am with a presentations from the speakers and a chance for questions and answers, there will be a break for lunch which will be provided and then a farm walk in the afternoon with a chance to take a practical look at grassland management techniques. There will also be an information booklet to accompany the course.

A £10 deposit is required, this is refundable upon attendance.

The following experts will be in attendance to pass on their wealth of knowledge:

David Lee – Dairy Farmer and BGS President 2014/15

In the late 1990’s David became convinced that the milk price for all year round calving and costs of production for that system, plus the long hours worked, was not the best way to farm. He opted instead for a low-cost grazing-based system on his Wales-Shropshire border farm, with two thirds of the cows calving in February, crossbreeding and set up a network of tracks across the farm. He also joined two of the Pasture-to-Profit grazing discussion groups. David will talk about his farming story, grassland management within his system and how he has never stopped learning.

Poppy Frater, Beef and Sheep Scientist EBLEX

Poppy grew up on a beef and sheep farm in Northumberland. She started working for EBLEX in 2012 after studying Zoology BSc hons followed by a MSc in Agriculture and Environmental Science at Newcastle University. She has authored several of the Better Returns Programme grass and forage guides and is continuously working to develop her expertise in grass based systems.

David Burton, Senior Advisor Natural England

David Burton works for Natural England in the National Biodiversity Delivery Team. He currently works with colleagues and partners including Young Farmers Clubs to achieve more for biodiversity by working in partnership. He has an MSc in Landscape Ecology, Design and Management, BSc Zoology, NC Agriculture and is an Associate of Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.  He will be talking about farming and the environment, including the influence of CAP reform.

Matthew Senior, Host, Dairy Farmer

Matthew runs his organic farm on a share farming agreement. His 200 cows are pedigree Jersey. In 2012 he was a finalist in the BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year award. Grassland management includes clovers and vetch silage for protein and soil nutrient status, plus managing deferred grazing for winter. Soil management has become an important topic for Matthew, particularly following the wet winter of 2013/14.

Charlotte Evans, Technical Project Manager BGS

Charlotte joined the BGS team in 2014. Previously she worked for Natural England as a Lead Advisor on the Soils for Profit Project and at Duchy College on the RDPE Skills Programme. She lives on a beef farm in Cornwall and has recently successfully tendered for a FBT to run a sheep and beef farm. She has a BSc hons and MRes from Aberystwyth University. Her MRes thesis investigated the links between agriculture and climate change in Northern Ethiopia and she has a particular interest in grasslands and sustainability.

Dr. George Fisher, Project Manager BGS

George is a past BGS president and began working as Project Manager in 2011. He is also RADA manager at Reaseheath College, managing the Agricultural Development Academy. Previously he has held posts as Head of Knowledge Transfer at DairyCo, Grassland and Livestock Specialist at GrowHowUK and Livestock Research Scientist at SRUC. His PhD he investigated trace element nutrition in ruminants.


Grass Farmer of the Future Competition

All participants will have the chance to enter the Grass Farmer of the Future Competition. This will be a set task to produce a short report to advise a farmer on how he could improve his grassland management on his farm and therefore improve his profits. This is the second year this competition has been run and the prize is a scholarship to the BGS Summer Meeting 2015 and a trophy presentation at the BGS Awards Evening in Cheshire in October.

Rules for the competition are available here: Grass Farmer of the Future Rules 2014.docx

How to Book

Please download a booking form here and return to Sam Conway via email or post to the address on the form.

If you are under 18 please also complete a parental consent form: PG Parental Consent Form Grassland Training.docx


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