Since taking up the position of chair in July, I’ve been in a whirlwind of activity surrounding the forum.
We have continued to work towards the new entrant scheme, optimistic to see what success and challenges arise from the pilots.
We were also invited along to the Oxbury ‘new gen’ funding launch. This appeared very exciting and there was a lot of enthusiasm from Oxbury and the audience of industry representatives.
Of course the big challenges to our generation remain: access to land and finance, and gaining and maintaining the skills needed to succeed in our industry.
“We are in a very exciting time of opportunity for the industry, I think it's important to share this view with other
NFU Next Generation Forum Eveey Hunter
This is why we have been following TIAH (The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture). We look forward to it launching its collaborative platform soon and are optimistic about its value to farmers – granted the offer is appealing to a wide range of people and businesses.
We, of course, still recognise the importance of strong relationships with MPs, especially in these volatile political times. We must ensure agriculture and food security remain at the top of their priorities.
Opportunities for young people in our sector
Myself and Olivia Richardson (vice-chair) have recently realised the lack of natural transition for people from agricultural courses, NFYFC and the ambassador programme into ‘next gen’/ NFU, or just further opportunity roles.
We are looking at options to implement something nationally to fill this ‘gap’, to maintain enthusiasm of individuals and offer them a direction into the NFU should they want the opportunity.
The forum hosted the UK Farming Unions conference in November. It was interesting to compare progress with the other organisations, as well as their individual priorities and challenges.
We are in a very exciting time of opportunity for the industry. I think it's important to share this view with other young people, encourage their aspirations and make agriculture an appealing career option. This is why we must continue to push for solutions to the challenges of access to land and capital.