Food for thought at next generation event

Young farmers standing in a field

On a cold, crisp morning in January, next generation and NYFC members from across Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent met at Black Ven Farm in East Sussex to discuss current agricultural issues and hear from speakers and their local MP.

The group was hosted by Elizabeth Buchanan and farm manager Leighton Budinger, who shared their journey so far transitioning to mob grazing and the wider environmental impacts they have seen from the change, as well as their Sussex cattle herd and the breeding choices they are prioritising.

Local farmer and Nuffield scholar Dan Burdett also joined the group to discuss his transition to regen farming on his dairy farm.

Dan shared what had worked and hadn’t worked, including the creation of silvopasture and the effort this took, both financially and in aftercare, to establish.

He spoke about how agriculture has changed and that to get the true value of our products we need to be experts in multiple areas, but by working together we can help support each other and find alternative outlets.

As a Nuffield scholar, he also highlighted to the group the opportunity to use the scholarship to see different production methods across the world and widen their horizons.

East Sussex next generation event

After lunch National Crops Board Chair Matt Culley joined the group to talk about some of the policy work the crops board has done over the past few years including Red Tractor, grain passports, urea fertiliser use and farming rules for water.

Finally, they were joined by Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden. During discussions, the group aired their frustration about the lack of support for British suppliers from retailers and how mislabelling can confuse consumers and lead them to buy other products rather than British. They also raised concern over the lack of critical livestock infrastructure in the area.

County Adviser Harriet Henrick said: "It was a very full but fantastic day, enjoyed by the group and thanks again to our hosts and speakers."

If you are interested in attending similar events, please contacts us at [email protected].

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