A talk by aspiring young farmers in North Yorkshire sparked a national conversation about getting started in farming and offered advice on how future farmers can build their careers.
Students at Settle College, Giggleswick, met with NFU North East Regional Director Adam Bedford to hear his advice on choosing a path and gaining experience in the world of agriculture.
Mr Bedford arrived at his talk on Wednesday (November 17) with words of wisdom from more than 50 farmers, rural consultants and people in the industry, after using social media to seek professional advice ahead of the meeting.
Talking to a group of 16-18 year olds at a school today – all from family farms, all keen on farming and thinking about it while at school and wondering what’s next.
I have some ideas but what is your advice to them? They will run the farm business in the future.
Adam Bedford (@adambedders) November 17, 2021
People from all over the country have shared their tips for dismissal of students who are all from an agricultural background and are considering their future careers.
Ruth Craig, Year 11 President at Seattle College, said Mr. Bedford’s talk and guidance from other farmers were an inspiration to the pupils.
The teacher said, “We appreciate what they are going to do and we want to give as much support as possible to them being good at it. There is a range of jobs available to them, and we want to give them as many different options as possible.”
One of the main themes was to travel and to have the most experience early on, which would prove valuable later in life.
Tom Clarke, a Cambridgeshire farmer (Tom_Clarke) said: “Choose farming. Don’t let farming choose you. Get an education. Do other jobs. Live in a city. Work abroad. “.
Mixed farmer Will Evans (willpenrievans), from North Wales, added: ‘Other jobs are tough; not just farming – get out of the farming bubble as much as possible and be aware of the issues in the wider community.
“Also, there is no such thing as a ‘proper farmer’ anymore. Anything goes.”
Others emphasized the importance of education.
Emily Norton, head of rural research at Savills Land Agent, suggested going to business school.
Cornwall cattle farmer Rona Ames (grassfedsheep) said young people should achieve A-levels or earn a BTEC diploma and travel far from home to gain experience.
It was also recommended to take advantage of industry knowledge and consider working in other parts of the supply chain.
Northamptonshire (PerkinsLodge) farmer Mark Gilly said: “Take advantage of free advice as much as possible, even before taking responsibility. Things like agricultural walks, AHDB events, etc. provide a great opportunity to capture ideas, meet others and share experiences. CPD is a great opportunity to capture ideas, meet others and share experiences. CPD is a The ag is really valuable, but it is poorly provided at the moment, so make your own.”
Learning about how the supply chain works and why will help broaden business skills by viewing the system through a non-agricultural lens, said Kristen McDowell, a food chain consultant at NFU.
McDowell recommended finding a job right after school, or plan to graduate after college.