Meet our Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors for 2023

First published: 19 December 2022

An image of the student and young farmer ambassadors holding farming tools

Eleven farmers have been named as the NFU’s new Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors beating stiff competition from more than 70 applicants vying for the coveted posts.

At a time when on farm input costs are spiralling, food supply chains and food security are challenged, and while financial support for farming is undergoing huge structural change, the new ambassadors will play a vital role representing the voice of the next generation at a crucial time in agriculture.

Our new ambassadors

Amanda Watson

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, North East

Amanda grew up on an upland/hill farm in the Durham Dales; this began her passion for livestock. She now lives in North Yorkshire and works as a Livestock Technical Specialist for Woodhead Bros (Morrisons).

She hopes to meet new people from a range of backgrounds and learn more about the political influence of the NFU while promoting the British agricultural industry.

Charlie Cooper-Harding

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, Cymru

Charlie is 24 years old and from Llanfyllin in Mid Wales. He currently works for Wynnstay PLC as an Area Sales Specialist.

Having not come from an agricultural background, he has no preconceived views and sees everything as an opportunity within agriculture. Charlie can’t wait to mix with likeminded people during the programme and learn a lot about the NFU and its policies.

Darcy Johnson

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, South West

Born and raised on a small beef and arable farm in Wiltshire, Darcy is currently in her second year of studies at Harper Adams University.

She's enthusiastic about building a more sustainable industry and promoting what farmers do through education, developing interest in agriculture and reaching out to people outside of farming circles.

Emily Marshall

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, North East

Emily works for Cranswick as Agriculture Supply Chain Manager, representing both the producers and retail customer’s interests. She thinks one way to shape the future of agriculture is by influencing policy at a governmental level.

Emily hopes that the Student & Young Farmer programme will give her the opportunities to learn how she can advocate for UK agriculture in this way.

Evie Rogers

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, West Midlands

Although not originally from a farming background, Evie has been involved within the agricultural sector from a young age. 

Her experience primarily consists of sheep and dairy, and her new advisory role consists of mitigating on-farm carbon emissions.

Through the NFU ambassador programme, Evie wishes to develop her knowledge and passion for the agricultural industry.

Hamish Evans

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, South West

Hamish came to regenerative agriculture through an unusual route. After travelling and working on organic farms globally for several years, he returned to his small solar powered canal boat home in the UK and established a small market garden.

That has now grown into a thriving regional bike-delivered veg box scheme with 200 subscribers, nine wholesale outlets and employing four full-time livelihoods from 16 acres.

Hamish is excited to champion the ecological necessity and economic viability of small-scale regenerative farming and bring more diverse youth voices into farming and political fields.

Hannah Cuthbert

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, East Midlands

Growing up in rural Lincolnshire, Hannah has always had an interest in agriculture which she carried through to her placement year in farm business management.

Hannah's looking forward to learning about the NFU’s role in lobbying to compliment the final year of her politics degree and to showcase the NFU’s work.

Liz Tree

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, South East

Liz grew up in Croydon, South London, and became interested in agriculture through lambing in the Brecon Beacons.

She has a BSc in Agriculture from Harper Adams University and has benefitted from a wide variety of work experience across different farming sectors.

Liz is currently studying for a Master of Research in Agricultural Education at Harper. She's excited to be an ambassador to encourage people from urban and non-farming backgrounds into the industry and to understand how the NFU influences politics to campaign for change.

Louise Penn

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, East Midlands

Louise is a farmer’s daughter from Northamptonshire, on a mixed farm with arable, sheep and cattle. She works as a farm consultant and agronomist at Ceres Rural with an interest in Regenerative agriculture and soil health.

Louise wants to make a positive and lasting impact on the agriculture industry, and thinks that being an NFU ambassador is a great way to start.

Rhea Auton

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, North East

Rhea's passion for agriculture has only grown stronger since beginning her studies at Agricultural College in 2016.

She's now training to be a Land Agent while studying at Harper Adams University.

During her time as an Ambassador, she hopes to champion the agricultural industry while meeting other like-minded people.

Thomas McVeigh

Student & Young Farmer Ambassador, East Anglia

Thomas is a farmer from Suffolk farming arable crops, poultry, and cattle. He's hoping to gain a deep understanding of agricultural policy and lobbying.

Thomas believes this moment in time is crucial for the future of the industry. As one of only a few young people in agriculture he feels it’s important to make every effort to be part of the discourse as our future's being shaped by decisions made today.

Never more important

Welcoming our new ambassadors, NFU President Minette Batters said: “Arguably, there has never been a more important time for British food and farming.

“The past three years have shown what a fantastic opportunity we have with our ambassadors to tell our positive story, from producing high quality food, to our care for the environment and our crucial work towards British agriculture being net zero by 2040.

“We have a fantastic range of agricultural roles represented by this cohort which will bring together inspiring voices from across the industry."

NFU President Minette Batters

“We have a fantastic range of agricultural roles represented by this cohort which will bring together inspiring voices from across the industry. I can’t wait to work alongside this group of talented and passionate people to see what we will achieve.”

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