National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

06 June 2019

Encouraging farmers to discuss succession planning is the aim of a session being run by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) at Cereals on 12 June in the International Farming Superstars Theatre.

The debate, which is supported by Defra, involves a panel of experts and young farmers who will share their experiences and expertise on this essential topic. Experts will lend advice on communication, necessary actions, common difficulties and opportunities within the succession process.

NFYFC’s panel of experts includes Siân Bushell, from Siân Bushell Associates, who helps farm businesses develop succession plans. Ashley Lilley who heads up the Savills food and farming team across the west of England and Georgina Sweeting from Savills’ York office will also share their experience of succession issues.

Cereals is Europe’s leading technical event for the arable industry and the session is aimed at anyone running a family farming or rural business.

NFYFC was supported by Defra and AHDB last year to produce a video called We Really Need to Talk, which aimed to show why communication is such an important part of the succession process before professional advice is sourced.

NFYFC will be launching a new training module, developed with Savills and Siân Bushell, for YFCs to deliver at a club level to help them understand more about the importance of succession planning and to provide advice on how to involve the family.

NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Issues (AGRI) Chairman David Goodwin from Warwickshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC) will chair the panel debate and will be joined by AGRI Vice Chairman George Baxter from Cambridgeshire FYFC representing young farmers working in the industry.

David said: “NFYFC wants to highlight practical and accessible measures to help YFC members start and progress succession conversations.. This issue can affect the whole family if it is not dealt with and our session at Cereals will hopefully help to break down some of the barriers around the succession process. ”

Farming Minister Robert Goodwill said:

“As a former chairman of my local Young Farmers branch and holder of a degree in agriculture, I know first-hand how important it is that we invest in the future of our young farmers.

“I am delighted we are supporting this new training module, to give young farmers the skills, tools, confidence and knowledge to plan for our industry’s exciting future.”

The debate will be at Cereals on Wednesday 12 June, 1.00 pm in the International Farming Superstars Theatre at Boothby Graffoe, Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

YFC members can save 40% on tickets to Cereals. See the offer here

Meet the panellists

David Goodwin is a conservation farmer and partner of Costow Farms, a tenanted mixed family farm business on the Warwickshire/Oxon border. A Harper Adams University business studies graduate, David works with his parents and made significant changes to the business when he returned to the family farm. A former chairman of Wormleighton YFC, David is the current chairman of the NFYFC AGRI steering group.

Ashley Lilley heads up the Savills food and farming team across the west of England. He is an agribusiness consultant with 25 years of experience. He advises farmers and landowners on business management and strategy. His clients include landowners, farmers, banks, food manufacturers and retailers. He specialises in business re-finance and re-structure, he also is an experienced expert witness which has included numerous mediations and court appearances to give evidence.

George Baxter is an agriculture graduate and agronomist, originally from a Yorkshire family farming background but now living and working in Cambridgeshire. He is currently county chairman of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, vice chairman of the NFYFC AGRI steering group and actively promotes industry and YFC messages.

Siân Bushell is a trained facilitator who helps family businesses develop succession plans. Based in South West Wales, Siân works with family businesses in Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England by asking the hard questions to facilitate succession planning for change and growth. Many of her clients are farmers because of her long experience in agriculture and her training as a family farm business facilitator. Her skills are transferable for any family-run business., Ire.

Georgina Sweeting joined Savills in 2016 on the Food & Farming graduate programme, working from the firm’s Northumberland office. In early 2018 she re-located to the York office as a food and farming consultant working with a range of clients from private landowners to institutions on a variety of farm management matters such as contract farming arrangements and stewardship schemes across the North of England. From a farming family in East Yorkshire, Georgina has always had an interest in agriculture and attended Newcastle University to study Agricultural Business Management. 


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