Cereals Development Programme 2023/24 open for applications

03 July 2023

A field of wheat

If you want to enhance your knowledge of the arable sector and could be a future leader in the combinable crops sector, the 2023/24 CDP (Cereals Development Programme) would be ideal for you.

Launched at the NFU stand at Cereals this year, NFU members aged between 25 and 35 can now apply for the next programme, which will run from November 2023 until February 2024.

Fantastic opportunity

Aimed at the next generation of decision makers and held over the winter months, successful applicants will attend a number of events and visits which will provide an insight into a variety of aspects of the combinable crops sector including growing, grain marketing, plant breeding and policy making.

The programme is operated in partnership with the seed, fertiliser and grain cooperative Openfield, and organised with CDP Chair Richard Heady, who was elected from the previous cohort.

It offers a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in combinable crops to improve their understanding of how the industry works, and how they can get the most from it.

“The CDP was a great opportunity to meet like-minded farmers. It gave me the confidence to market my own grain, a better understanding of current farming issues, and led me into further roles within the NFU.”

Rob Atkin, former CDP Chair

How to apply

To apply, please email your CV along with a covering letter explaining why you’d like to be part of the programme to Luke Cox, Combinable Crops Policy Adviser.

The deadline for applications is 31 July 2023.

This year's programme

This year’s programme will follow a similar format to previous years, and includes visits to both the NFU and Openfield headquarters as well as a trip to Westminster to take a tour around the Houses of Parliament.

Industry visits to Portbury Docks, Moy Park and the John Innes Centre will also be included, as well as some new trips which are being planned for this year. Programme members will also hear from guest speakers from across the industry.

Network for the future

Successful applicants will find out first hand how their hard work gets great British produce from farm to fork. By the end of the programme, delegates will have built up a network of like-minded colleagues from across the UK, who can support each other from within their own farm business for years to come.

Previous participants in the CDP have gone on to become both regional and national Crops Board members, as well as wider industry leaders and NFU officeholders.

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