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    Future Farmers to Reunite at Royal Welsh Show
12/06/08

Future Farmers Reunited is on the wish list of The Future Farmers of Wales Club in its twentieth anniversary year. It is looking for ‘lost’ members who may have dropped out because of work and family commitments over the years to make contact in time for a reunion at the Royal Welsh Show.

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Chairman Geraint Hughes said he was keen for lapsed members to get in touch and to share their experiences and expertise with younger members. It would also provide an opportunity for them to share ideas and meet stimulating people.

"Future Farmers of Wales members get an opportunity to meet inspiring people in agriculture and in agri food", he said. "It’s encouraging to be able to share ideas and to get feedback from other people within agriculture.

"We tend to run the risk of becoming insular and focusing too much on our own little circle and the club has always been very good at creating opportunities outside the comfort zone and providing new ideas and experiences".

The club is planning a tour of Scotland in October and also a conference on the theme Land Use In 2020. It is also looking at ways of mentoring and encouraging new members.

The club was set up by Dai Davies of Haverfordwest to harness the talents of ATB Apprentice of the Year winners, many of whom he judged as young students when he was UK Senior Agriculture Manager with the NatWest Bank. He wanted to create a non political body of younger farmers prepared to express their concerns, ideas and views and to lobby Government.

Today the club invites new members from a range of Royal Welsh and other scholarship awards, from Lantra, student, and other agricultural awards. It holds regular meetings with the WAG Minister for Rural Affairs, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales and other key figures.

"I am very conscious of the changes in agriculture", says Dai. "More people who gain qualifications in agriculture don’t now take up practical farming. We need to find a way of involving some of the excellent practical, innovative farmers we have in Wales.

"They who may not have academic/scholarship qualifications, but have been very successful in their farming and who could not only benefit from membership of the Club, but also could share their successful farming methods with our existing members.

FFW is a much respected and prestigious Club, and it is important that we continue with our membership being on an "invitation and not application basis".

Anyone interested in ‘reuniting’ with Future Farmers of Wales should ring Club Secretary Dylan Williams on 07810 354249.

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