Meet our Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors for 2022

Published 01 December 2021

NFU Student and Young Farmer Ambassadors 2022

Our new group of ambitious students, farmers and agricultural workers will work with us to represent the future of British farming over the next 12 months, both within the industry and to the wider public.

This is the third year of our successful Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme. We had more than 100 applicants this year, and the quality and diversity of the people we had to choose from was as high as ever.

Amid increased input costs, potential new trade deals, issues with access to labour and changes in terms of agriculture policy, our new team will play a vital role in representing the food and farming industry at a crucial time.

Who are our new ambassadors?

Our 14 Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors for 2022 are:

  • Edward Lord, West Midlands – an Aberystwyth University student who supports his dad’s dairy contract farming business.
  • Bizza Walters, West Midlands – from a mixed family farm, with her own flock, Bizza is heavily involved in the Young Farmers Club (YFC).
  • Rebecca Wilson, North East – a family livestock farmer, who presents the Boots and Heels farming podcast.
  • Jessica Langton, East Midlands – a dairy farmer, and NFU dairy board appointee, who is studying sustainable agriculture at university.
  • Gareth Staples-Jones, North West – a new entrant farmer and already an NFU Farmer & Grower member.
  • Hannah Buisman, East Anglia – from a family arable farm with a viticulture diversification, Hannah launched her own ‘Spot the Crop’ campaign.
  • Emily Brown, East Anglia – Harper Adams Students’ Union President, Emily supports her family farm and farm shop and is an Agrespect campaigner.
  • Thomas Saunders, East Anglia – a Harper Adams student, actively involved in his YFC’s social media, who helps run campaigns such as Movember and FebruDairy.
  • Mike Wilkins, South West – a mixed farm manager and former chair of Royal Agricultural University Students’ Union.
  • Sophie Bould Lynch, South West – Red Tractor auditor and fluent British Sign Language speaker.
  • Dan Hawes, South East – manager on a soft fruit farm.
  • Erin Fflur Mcnaught, NFU Cymru – a family sheep farmer and award-winning sheep dog handler.
  • Mary Raymond, NFU Cymru – a livestock farmer and University of Reading agri-business student.
  • Sian Eleri Davies, NFU Cymru – an NFU Cymru Next Gen Forum member who has recently diversified into broilers.
"There’s a brilliant range of agricultural roles represented by this group which is really exciting. From telling the fantastic story of British farming and sharing their own inspiring journeys, to working to further improve our industry, I can’t wait to see what mark this cohort will make and what we can achieve together."
NFU President Minette Batters

Our new ambassadors

Rebecca Wilson, North East

Rebecca Wilson

 

Growing up on the family mixed farm in the heart of North Yorkshire meant that I combined studying with practical farm work. The ambassador programme will allow me to meet people with different and complementary ideas and to promote engagement across the agricultural community.

Dan Hawes, South East

Dan Hawes

I'm from an arable background in Suffolk, but am now living and working in Kent for a farm producing strawberries and other soft fruits for the British market. I hope to gain some great friends, share ideas and learn from others, while doing my bit to promote our industry.

Jessica Langton, East Midlands

Jessica Langton

I’m a fourth generation dairy farmer studying Animal Science at the University of Nottingham and working part time at Genus ABS as a reproductive management specialist. I'm also an NFU Dairy Board appointee. As an ambassador, I want to encourage a greater connection between the public and the countryside, and broaden my knowledge of different sectors and the policies impacting agriculture.

Erin Fflur McNaught, NFU Cymru

Erin Fflur McNaught

I am a beef and sheep farmer taking over my family farm in North Wales, while also working on a local regenerative dairy farm. I also train and trial sheepdogs. Through this programme, I hope to further develop my understanding and passion for the agricultural industry.

Sian Eleri Davies, NFU Cymru

Sian Eleri Davies

 

I graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2019 with a BSc in Agriculture with Business Studies. I now help run the family enterprise incorporating store cattle, breeding ewes, broiler chickens and arable. The arable is mainly at the Glanusk Estate where we are tenant farmers. An active member of YFC, I'm excited to help showcase the best of British agriculture.

Mary Raymond, NFU Cymru

Mary Raymond

I grew up on a mixed farm in Pembrokeshire, Wales. My passion is cows and sheep, and I love spending a lot of my time with them when I’m not in university. I’m so happy to be a part of the ambassador programme, especially to meet new people and learn more about the industry I love.

Gareth Staples-Jones, North West

Gareth Staples-Jones

As a new entrant to the farming business, I think being an NFU Student & Young Farmer Ambassador will be a great platform to explain how a person who isn't from a farming background can break into the industry and what you can expect along the way, as well as explaining the role farming plays in our country.

Bizza Walters, West Midlands

Bizza Walters

I am a farmer’s daughter from Warwickshire. We farm mainly sheep and arable, but have other enterprises such as a small feed merchant business. I am really passionate about agriculture, especially topics surrounding buying locally and seasonally, and am really looking forward to meeting new people and learning more about our ever-changing industry.

Edward Lord, West Midlands

Edward Lord

 

For the past six years, I have been supporting my father’s dairy contract farming business. I study Agriculture with Business Management at Aberystwyth University and my passion is sustainability, and British agriculture's role in tackling climate change. I want to help promote agriculture as a career pathway, and the vast opportunities for current farmers, new entrants and the wider public.

Mike Wilkins, South West

Mike Wilkins

I grew up on my family’s arable farm in Wiltshire and subsequently studied agriculture at the RAU. I now manage a 3,200 acre mixed estate in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, and still also help out on the family farm. As an ambassador I want to be a champion and advocate for the fantastic work our industry is doing for food and environment.

Sophie Bould-Lynch, South West

Sophie Bould-Lynch

I have a degree in Rural Business Management and currently work as a Saputo Standards Inspector, Red Tractor auditor for dairy, beef and lamb farms and relief milker. I would like to gain knowledge, experience and to meet other like-minded people within the industry.

Emily Brown, East Anglia

Emily Brown

I am the current President for Harper Adams Students' Union, having studied BSc Agriculture with Farm Business Management. I come from a farming family in Bedfordshire and have been strongly involved in Bedford Young Farmers. I have a keen interest in equality, inclusivity and diversity in the agricultural industry, as well as getting out and active in the countryside.

Thomas Saunders, East Anglia

Thomas Saunders

I come from a mixed farming background and this has led to me discovering many opportunities within Young Farmers. I am looking forward to learning more about the political lobbying of the NFU. I hope to contribute to the voice of the NFU through my passion for education while I am currently studying at Harper Adams University.

Hannah Buisman, East Anglia

Hannah Buisman

I studied languages at Durham University, then returned to the family farm. Alongside arable work and establishing a new farm vineyard, I have set up ‘Spot the Crop’ signs and my own agriculture information website, ‘Agri Unwrapped’. As an ambassador, I hope to connect with like-minded individuals, while creating a greater dialogue with those outside farming circles to further public understanding of British agriculture.

Never more important

Welcoming our new ambassadors, NFU President Minette Batters said: “Huge congratulations to this year's successful candidates. Over the past two years, our Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors have been some of the most integral people within the NFU and the wider farming community.

“With the public perception of British farming at an all-time high, it’s never been more important for farmers to tell their story. I look forward to working with this new group of young people to showcase the vital role farming plays not only producing our food, protecting and enhancing our environment, and rearing livestock to world-leading standards, but with a clear focus for British agriculture to be net zero by 2040.

“The success of the programme is clear with more than 100 enthusiastic young people applying to be ambassadors. There’s a brilliant range of agricultural roles represented by this group which is really exciting. From telling the fantastic story of British farming and sharing their own inspiring journeys, to working to further improve our industry, the next 12 months will be incredibly interesting. I can’t wait to see what mark this cohort will make and what we can achieve together.” 

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