Somerset farmer welcomes Britain’s next generation

A group of people in a field looking at a herd of cows

The NFU’s latest Student and Young Farmer Ambassadors enjoyed a summer away day when they visited a farm and country estate near Castle Cary.

They spent a day at The Newt with Cameron Knee – who was part of the 2019/20 group of ambassadors.

Cameron, originally from Somerset, went to university in Newcastle upon Tyne and went on to be a farm consultant and then manager, before moving to Aberdeen to manage a farm. On his return to Somerset, he became farm manager at The Newt.

Field to fork

Cameron said: “I thought the next generation visit was a huge success, it was great to be able to share what we are doing at The Newt with the NFU Ambassadors, showing a different style of farming to a lot of people’s conventional roots.

"To be able to explain the process of field to fork all on one estate was a real privilege, which seemed well received with many engaging questions coming from the group."

The NFU's SYFA programme is a year-long series of events designed to give its Student and Young Farmer members, aged 30 and under, the opportunity to have their say and influence the future of the agricultural and horticulture industry.

The Newt is a country house hotel and garden attraction, which features a spa, exhibits and on-site cider press and cellar.

As a working farm, it is also home to the largest herd of British White cows in the world.

"I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share my story, including all the doors being an NFU ambassador has opened for me along the way.” 

Cameron Knee

“I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share my story of the past 10 years of my farming adventure and how I have gone from strength to strength as a farm manager, including my experiences as an NFU Ambassador and all the doors the programme has opened for me along the way,” said Cameron.

Learning about landscape

The ambassadors enjoyed a tractor and trailer ride tour, learning about the Somerset landscape and Cameron’s plans for the future of the business. They also saw the British White herd, the farm’s flock of sheep and the estate’s deer.

Cameron explained to the group that The Newt grows more than 350 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs for its restaurants and farm shop. Produce from the farm is also sold to the London market via their online shop.

Tom McVeigh, a Student and Young Farmer Ambassador from Suffolk, said that he was taking “inspiration from all areas of the farm” and wanted to “duplicate it on a much smaller scale” at home.

More from the NFU Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme:

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