National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

24 October 2012

 

Representatives from the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs headed to Portugal last weekend to discuss the future for young rural entrepreneurs in Europe.

Katherine Sealy, who represents NFYFC on the European Council for Young Farmers (CEJA), and Chris Manley both attended the Associação de Jovens Agricultores de Portugal Conference in Porto, thanks to sponsorship from farmer-owned Mole Valley Farmers.

This was Chris’s first experience of a CEJA conference:

“I felt really inspired by CEJA and the way it brings together European young farmers. It is so interesting to learn about the different types of agriculture across Europe and everyone wants to hear what farming is like in your country. All the member organisations in CEJA are driven towards giving a voice to young farmers.”

The conference focused on developing young entrepreneurs in rural areas and reversing the influx of young people to towns and cities. Portuguese representatives shared their own experiences of supporting and revitalising rural communities.

Also discussed was CEJA’s ‘Future...Food...Farmers’ campaign launched on World Food Day, which highlights the generational crisis in the industry and urges decision-makers in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms to prioritise support for young farmers to ensure farming has a future.

“I hope our YFC members are able to help pledge their support for the campaign, and help to secure the future of this industry,” said Chris.

The weekend was also a chance for a CAP working group to discuss CEJA’s position on the ‘greening’ aspect of CAP reform:

“This was a really enjoyable and informative trip, and really made me realise the importance of young farmers to the future of agriculture. Now, more than ever, we should take the opportunity to shape this future and not be afraid to say what we think and feel.”

For more information on CEJA click here.

(Pictured from left: CEJA President, Joris Baecke; Minister of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Spacial Planning, Assuncao Cristas; Chris Manley; Portugese MEP, Nuno Melo and NFYFC CEJA representative, Katherine Sealy.)



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