Entering the farming industry

WE started January with a interesting evening at our Agricultural Forum, focusing on “New Entrants”. Our panellists including John Barrett from Sentry Farm Management, Mark Russell from Savills, David Barker from Chadacre Agricultural Trust and Ben Martin, ex-YFC member and tenant farmer for the Bures Layzell Trust, got the evening going with their views on how new entrants to the industry should be approached, offering solutions and creating an excellent evening of discussion.

The key points from the evening were that young people entering the industry need to be focusing on providing services that are at a premium and getting into niche markets.

It was very obvious from the discussions that young people coming into the industry need to take some calculated risks while they are young enough to bounce back. The other main point that arose was that education needs to be rounded and that the gap between degree students and vocational students needs to be filled with relevant training and skills.

This brought us nicely into the remit of our next Farming Forum which is taking place on February 15, at Otley College at 7.30pm. All are welcome. We will be looking at Business Skills – Beyond Tractors with panellists from Otley College, AtlasFram, Farm Crisis Network, Lantra and Ensors Chartered Accountants.

For further information contact Tory at county office via office@suffolkyfc.com .

The first competitions of the New Year took place with junior and senior Ten Pin Bowling. Well done to Deben Valley YFC for winning the junior competition and to Bury St Edmunds YFC for taking the senior trophy.

I had a lovely evening at our newest club, Blyth Valley, with an excellent speaker in the form of Mark Bryant, a local policeman, who gave us a brilliant talk on the ins and outs of policing and regaled us with a few stories.

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Stowmarket YFC held their Annual Ball at All Manor of Events, at Henley. A fantastic evening was had by all present. The food was very good and the venue was lovely.

We were delighted to be able to present Stowmarket with the Pat Bond Cow for the Eastern Area Club of the Year as voted for by the members of the Eastern Area Clubs.

The Eastern Area YFC AGM took place in Newmarket and we are delighted that Lucy Bellefontaine carried on as chairman and Helen Walker continued as treasurer.

There are some brilliant things happening in Eastern Area and we are looking forward to being involved.

We are currently in the process of launching two new clubs in the Hadleigh/Lavenham area – we will have a junior club for 10-16 year olds and a senior club for 16-30 year olds up and running at the beginning of March.

If anyone is interested in being involved or coming along please e-mail the office.

Plans are busily being put into place for the Suffolk Young Farmers Country Fair taking place at Easton Farm Park on Sunday, April 15. This includes showjumping, showing and gymkhana, Kennel Club Companion Dog Show with classes in pedigree and novelty, dog agility “have a go” and display, a display from the police drugs dogs, vintage tractors, tradestands and much more.

Any tradestand requests are very welcome in the office. Tradestands are �10 for all sizes.

Coming up: Halesworth YFC Spring Fling – March 31, at Blyford Hall, tickets in advance only �15 via YFC office to include band, hog roast, bar 7.30pm-1am.

For further information contact Jessie Bowling 07762 749872.