Sustainability and environmental longevity are key topics in our farming future. A training project between The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in partnership with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is helping next generation farmers tackle this.
IN order to support Young Farmers with their career and business planning during what is an uncertain time, a new online guide has been developed by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in partnership with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).
Funded by Defra, the online Fit for Future Business Guide is one element of a three-part Building Skills project, which also includes bespoke training for Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC).
Some topics highlighted in the guide include conservation agriculture, the role of integrated pest management and agroforestry, and it builds on NFYFC’s work with the GWCT to bring information and advice on integrated conservation farming practices, which are further showcased at the Allerton Project Farm, Leicester.
The project heavily focuses on the effects of different farming methods on wildlife and the environment and identifies management which delivers multiple benefits for sustainable food production as well as environmental good. Natural capital accounting, agri-environment schemes and regenerative farming systems are also a key part.
Joe Stanley, GWCT’s Head of Training and Partnerships, said: “It is a timely project which acknowledges the need for additional skills to accommodate the many emerging Defra policies as well as recommendations from Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy.
“With a training offer to share good practice and a farm to demonstrate the commercial benefits, NFYFC and GWCT are pleased to collaborate again on a project to help share news, offer training and signpost for further information during this time of agricultural transition. We hope this guide helps young farmers identify the skills they may need, information to help progress their career or land management plans and provide training options.”
Members of the YFC Agri group met at the Allerton Project Farm last year to discuss the skills needed for emerging policies, fledgling businesses and new entrant opportunities.
Many issues arose from these discussions, including how to help new entrants and next generation farmers deliver on sustainability. But the group agreed that clear food labelling showing environmental impact will be part of the necessary marketing tools for consumer awareness and there was a need for a practical, realistic approach to the effects of seismic policy change and trade deals.
Outgoing YFC Agri chair and poultry farmer Tom Pope said: “A fresh approach of collaborative support for skills and establishing sustainable businesses are high on young farmers’ agendas. The Fit for Future Business Guide is something I wholeheartedly recommend that is read and shared so many more young farmers can make the most of the wealth of information that has been researched and put into practice by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
“YFC Agri has been active in exploring ways to help new entrants and next generation farmers deliver sustainability and feedback includes clear food labelling showing environmental impact as part of the necessary marketing tools for consumer awareness, as well as a practical, realistic approach to the effects of policy change and trade deals.”