The Farming Ladder - Getting On and Going

An insight into getting started in farming or changing direction within the industry will be given in a wide ranging conference to be held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.

An insight into getting started in farming or changing direction within the industry will be given in a wide ranging conference to be held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.

Entitled “The Farming Ladder – Getting On and Going” the event takes place on Thursday 29 November and will bring together a broad range of career paths and perspectives. It is organised by the Yorkshire Rural Support Network which is supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Kate Dale, the Network’s co-ordinator said: “We’ve gathered together a group of speakers who have different stories to tell about how they became involved in the industry, and the challenges and opportunities they faced. We also have speakers from the industry who are actively helping others to climb what can be a difficult ladder.”

Conference topics include share farming, the graduate schemes offered by both McCain Foods and Cooperative Farms, a Nuffield scholar's experience, a perspective on landowners and entrepreneurs working together, and the road taken by two Yorkshire Wolds farmers and business partners who met at college and have gone on to develop their successful venture. Canon Revd Leslie Morley, Vice Chairman of the Network and Chaplain to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society will chair the day.

In addition, a panel of speakers will also answer questions from the floor, namely Stephen Wyril, National Vice Chairman of the Tenant Farmers Association, Dorothy Fairburn, Regional Director, CLA North and Barney Kay, Regional Director, NE England, NFU. Emma Penny, Editor of Famers Guardian will chair the panel.

Tickets cost £10 each and include lunch. They can be booked through Co-ordinator, Kate Dale at kated@yas.co.uk or on 07912 495604.

SPEAKERS ARE:

Peter Caley and Adam Palmer from the Yorkshire Wolds who established Six Valley Lamb two years ago which produces forage fed lamb for the dead weight market. Peter and Adam met at college, and also continue to work on their family farms. Peter farms with his father John at Smithy Briggs Farm, Burton Constable and Adam took over the family farm in Thixendale more than a decade ago.

Landowner John Henderson farms near Skipton and has had a lifelong interest in the industry. He is the Yorkshire President of the CLA. John launched his first share farming enterprise 20 years ago, with Tony Shepherd as operator. Tony is a first generation farmer, and after gaining his HND in agriculture has successfully farmed ever since.

David Edwards and John Hurst, both from Co-operative Farms, one of the UK’s largest landowners, add a different perspective. David is the business’s Farm & Environment Adviser. He manages 900 hectares of arable land near Scarborough as well as his responsibilities across the company. John Hurst oversees the management of 15,000 acres, including managing 3,000 acres in North Lincolnshire. He also has responsibility for the company’s graduate training scheme.

Graham Finn, is the Policy Adviser Agriculture, for McCain Foods and Matt Stubbings is a McCain sponsored student. After 41 years in the industry, Graham took semi retirement but maintains an active interest by sitting on the Potato Council MI Committee and the Yorkshire Food Farming & Rural Network. Matt, who is from Malton, is not from a farming background but is currently studying Agri Food Marketing and has spent a year with McCain Foods as an agronomy student, which he says has been invaluable to him.

Nuffield Scholar Michael Blanche is a first generation farmer who spent eight years on season lets before securing a ten year tenancy near Perth. His Nuffield study title was “The Farming Ladder”. From a tough beginning he currently has 600 ewes, 87 fattening heifers on bed and breakfast and dairy bull calves on a profit share.

Tom Curtis is the co-author of The Land Partnerships Handbook – a guide to help land owners and entrepreneurs work together. He founded the social enterprise “Landshare" and chairs the board of Cultivate, a new community-owned food company based in Oxford.

ENDS

19 November 2012

Judy Thompson, PR Manager, Yorkshire Agricultural Society on 07903 326170 or email judyt@yas.co.uk

YORKSHIRE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY: 

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society was formed in 1837 and is a charity dedicated to supporting the farming industry and rural life. The value of the support it provides to regional farming and countryside initiatives has risen year on year to almost £1m. It is based at the Regional Agricultural Centre, Harrogate; the RAC includes Fodder, the Society’s regional food shop and café which opened in June 2009. Both the RAC and Fodder has won a number of awards, including in 2010, being named as the Observer Monthly Best Independent Local Retailer, and most recently it has been chosen as a finalist in the Taste of England category of the 2012 Visit England Awards for Excellence.

The Society is the organiser of England’s premier agricultural show, the Great Yorkshire Show and its sister event, Countryside Live. Dates for Countryside Live 2013 are Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October. The 2013 Great Yorkshire Show dates are Tuesday 9 – Thursday 11 July which will be the 155th show.

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The Yorkshire Agricultural Society was formed in 1837 and is a charity dedicated to supporting the farming industry and rural life. Best known for staging the annual Great Yorkshire Show, England's Premier Agricultural event and Countryside Live, it's sister event. The value of the support it provides to regional farming and countryside initiatives has risen year on year to nearly £1m. The 2016 Great Yorkshire Show runs from Tuesday 12 – Thursday 14 July and Countryside Live is on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October 2016. Both take place at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire and are flagship events for agriculture and rural life. The Society plays a key role in supporting rural life, through grants, sponsorships and has a very active education department which runs a wide range of activities aimed at increasing the knowledge of young people and their teachers about the important role farmers play in producing our food and caring for the landscape. An important date on the annual calendar is the annual Countryside Days event when thousands of primary school children use the showground as a resource for learning. In June 2009, the Society also opened its Regional Agricultural Centre at the showground which will be a focus for excellence for the industry, as well as the new home of the Society. Yorkshire Event Centre Limited (YEC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Society and all YEC’s profits go to fund its charitable work. Who's Who in the Yorkshire Agricultural SocietyChairman: Simon TheakstonPresident: Sarah YorkPresident Elect: Lord MiddletonChief Executive: Nigel Pulling

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