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East Anglia Future 50

Farm recruitment films funded by Suffolk charity prove hit on YouTube

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:44 31 October 2018

Molly Sellar, Easton and Otley College Level 3 apprentice, who appears in the Felix Cobbold Trust farm recruitment film Picture: SUSIE EMMETT

Molly Sellar, Easton and Otley College Level 3 apprentice, who appears in the Felix Cobbold Trust farm recruitment film Picture: SUSIE EMMETT

Susie Emmett

A Suffolk farming charity has funded a range of films aimed at encouraging more young people into the industry.

Alex Parkinson, who appears in the Felix Cobbold Trust farm recruitment film Picture: SUSIE EMMETTAlex Parkinson, who appears in the Felix Cobbold Trust farm recruitment film Picture: SUSIE EMMETT

The films, funded by the Felix Cobbold Trust and produced by Green Shoots Productions, have been watched by more than 1,000 viewers on YouTube since they were launched over the summer.

They show young people enthusing about their jobs, ranging from technicians to farm managers and scientists.

The trust, founded in 1910 in the will of a philanthropist from Ipswich to provide allotments and smallholdings for the ‘deserving poor’ of East Suffolk, has since changed its objectives to meet the changing needs of agriculture and the countryside.

It now provides grants to young people for education, for research and development, wildlife and environmental schemes, public education on British farming and for production and capital projects.

The East Anglian young professionals featured in the films talk about the satisfaction they derive from their daily work, and the varied education pathways into jobs associated with food production.

They also explain how it is not always necessary to go through the conventional route of A levels and university, with apprenticeships, on-the-job training and BTec courses of offer to suit different interests and abilities.

James Forrest, chairman of the trust, said: “The farming industry offers great careers for bright young people to take it into the new era of high technology and science.”

The most popular film so far has been the one with Alex Parkinson in his tractor cab as he harvests carrots on a farm near Houghton in Norfolk.

“I was really pleased to be in the career films,” he said.

“I started out growing vegetables for a pub, but wanted to get involved in production on a bigger scale. When I saw an apprenticeship on a farm, I jumped at it.

“There are so many interesting opportunities for young people in agriculture, and I would not want any other career,” he said.

The objective of the films is to make young people, and their parents, aware of the many interesting careers available in the wider food production industry.

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