Find out about the Cereals Development Programme

Published 04 October 2021

Crops
KWS CDP

Arable farming's next generation? Fifteen farmers will get a seed-to-shop shelf insight into the UK arable sector after winning selection to the Cereals Development Programme (CDP).

Offered jointly by the NFU and Openfield, the CDP provides a unique opportunity to better understand what happens beyond the farm gate. The biennial scheme runs from October to March and is aimed at the next generation, with participants usually between 25 and 35 years old.

It includes training sessions, deep dives into organisations like the NFU, AHDB, Red Tractor and Openfield, and visits that trace the cereals supply chain – from seed R&D, grain marketing and milling to the products that leave the processing plants, bakeries and ports.

Trips to Westminster and Brussels will put the UK sector into wider context.

The programme has a strong record of turning out future industry leaders and several NFU officeholders, including NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts, are previous participants.

We'll update you of progress throughout autumn 2021.

First-hand insight

The programme’s first chair, Rob Atkins, took part in the programme in 2019. He said: “The CDP was a great opportunity to meet like-minded farmers and gave me a huge insight into the processes associated with growing combinable crops, grain marketing, plant breeding and policy-making.

“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.”

Meet the 2021-2022 CDP participants

Rob Beaument

Rob Beaumont

Rob Beaumont is a farmer and agronomist from Suckley, in Worcestershire. Part of the AHDB Hereford Monitor Farm team for the next three years, Rob has a keen interest in sustainable crop production and land management.

Rob Beaument

David Bird

Twitter: @dbird280

David Bird farms with his family in Suffolk, where current operations include arable and pigs, with a focus on soil health and environmental sustainability.

Alex Bullock

Alex Bullock

Twitter: @cereal_tiller

Alex Bullock left a career in London three years ago to join the family farm and contracting business in the Cotswolds. It covers 2,000 hectares of organic and conventional ground, with a mixture of tenancies and contract farming agreements.

Oliver Collingham

Oliver Collingham

Oliver Collingham is fourth-generation farmer from Nottinghamshire. He studied agricultural business management before working all over the world in the soft fruit and animal nutrition industries, more recently returning home to a diverse family business. Farming, rugby and travel are his passions.

Olly Fussey

Olly Fussey

Twitter: @OFussey

Olly Fussey works on the family farm in Lincolnshire. It’s a mixed enterprise, largely arable but with a cattle suckler herd. When not working he cycles and is a regular at his local Parkrun.

Richard Heady

Richard Heady

Twitter: @HeadysFarm

Richard Heady runs a mixed arable farm in North Buckinghamshire with his dad and uncle, with his focus being the arable side of the business. As single farm payments are phased out, he says that it has never been more important to improve the resilience of farm businesses and to look for new opportunities.

Victoria Horton

Victoria Horton

Victoria Horton, 30, returned to the family farm after studying and working in architecture. She grows wheat, barley and maize across 700 acres with a renewables diversification. Outside of farming she is training two working spaniels and is a beaver leader at the local scout group.

James Huyton

James Huyton

James Huyton, 32, runs the family farm in Standish, Lancashire, focusing on combinable cropping and regenerative agriculture, alongside contract spraying for a 1,200-acre local arable farm.

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones

Twitter: @AshleyDaveJones

Ashley Jones has been passionate about farming from an early age and farms with his parents in South East Cornwall, on the Duchy of Cornwall Estate. A typical Cornish mixed beef, sheep and arable enterprise, they are also an AHDB cereals monitor farm.

Edward Leedham

Edward Leedham

Edward Leedham studied agricultural business management before returning to the family farm near Tamworth, Staffordshire. He farms 1,200 acres of combinable crops with interests including Higher Tier Stewardship and commercial and holiday lets.

Harry Mouland

Harry Mouland

Twitter: @Farmer_Mooo

Harry Mouland is a 29-year-old arable farmer from North Kent, working alongside his father on a 450-acre family farm.

Will Oliver

Will Oliver

Twitter: @willoliver88

Will Oliver is from a diversified family farm in Warwickshire/Leicestershire, with the arable enterprise being the mainstay for four generations.

Jim Simmons

Jim Simmons

Twitter: @JimSim89

Jim Simmons graduated from Harper Adams in 2011 with a BSc in Agriculture, returning to farm alongside his father and younger brother in Surrey. They farm 1,800 acres of combinable crops through a range of tenancy and contract farming agreements, with firewood and private gritting diversifications. Jim is also Surrey NFU Vice Chairman.

Oliver Taylor

Oliver Taylor

Oliver Taylor is a 26-year-old fourth-generation farmer and contractor from Leicestershire.

Peter Venn

Peter Venn

Peter Venn farms near Taunton, Somerset. The business has recently sold its dairy herd and followers and is switching from a mixed to purely arable holding. Peter grows wheat, barley and forage maize on a system that is moving towards reduced cultivations with cover crops and sheep grazing through the winter.

 

  

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