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Wanted – Bright Sparks for Careers in Farming & the Rural Sector
2011-09-26

The necessity of attracting bright, intelligent young people into rural industries, including farming, will be highlighted at a conference to be held at Askham Bryan College next month.

Keynote speaker, Adam Henson

Keynote speaker, Adam Henson

With Adam Henson of BBC TV's Countryfile as the keynote speaker, the event will emphasise the need to not only attract the brightest and best, but the wide range of highly skilled and rewarding career opportunities available in the agricultural and rural sector.

The conference is being organised by The Food & Farming Forum and takes place on Thursday 20 October at the York-based college. It is aimed primarily at careers advisers and teachers from across the north of England and is entitled “A Future in Food, Farming and the Environment – A Career to Consider”.

Steve Willis, the Forum's Chairman said: “It is absolutely vital for the future of our industry that young people are aware of the exciting and rewarding opportunities there are in the sector. We need top grade students to not only become the hands on practitioners, but the leaders and successful businessmen of tomorrow. To do this we need to enthuse and inspire careers advisers so that they are aware of the amazing choices open to their students, and go back to 'spread the word.'

“Farming is a high tech global industry. The kit on many farms today is worth tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds, sound business acumen is needed to help make strategic decisions, for example, working with blue chip companies as suppliers or customers and the banks. In addition, a knowledge and understanding of fluctuating commodity prices and the world market is of huge benefit. Thus “A” grade students are needed to ensure our industry is at the top of its game on the world stage.”

The day will begin with an address from Adam Henson, after which delegates can tour four sectors entitled:

  • Farm to Fork - where delegates can follow career opportunities along the food chain from the practicalities of farming through to primary processing, value adding and retailing, including farmshops

  • Going Green - focuses on environmental issues such as renewable energy, biofuels and resource protection

  • Social Responsibility – where delegates can speak to those working in land management, wildlife conservation and education

  • Science and Business – where a range of opportunities including research and development, marketing, logistics / supply-chain, production and engineering and new product development will be highlighted

The sectors will be introduced by talented young individuals forging their own successful careers and delegates can talk to staff from a variety of businesses working in the sector. These range from locally based rural companies and organisations, to national food producers to science and technology companies.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to look round the College, including the farm and National Beef Training Centre to see how today's agriculture students are working towards their futures in the industry.

A wide range of businesses will be represented for delegates to talk to including, Bishopton Vets, Natural England, the National Farmers Union, McCain Foods, Velcourt, Science City York, Ripon Farm Services, JSR Farms, Smiths Gore and the Environment Agency.

The event is free but pre-registration is required and lunch is provided. It has been organised in partnership with Science City York, Askham Bryan College, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and The Food and Environment Research Agency.

To reserve a place and for further information please contact: Liz Hudson, The Food and Farming Forum, tel: 07702 598 108 and email: elizabethh@yas.co.uk

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