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LAMMA 2021

LAMMA 2021

Young farmer focus: Matthew Rollason - 'Farming must adapt and overcome, as it always does'

Matthew Rollason, 24, is from Great Harwood, Lancashire. He works in the agri-food research and development team for Dunbia. He has also established New Dawn Herefords and is an NFU Student and Young Farmer Ambassador.

Turmoil

 

In the three years since I last wrote in Farmers Guardian, the world seems to have faced an uninterrupted barrage of angst and turmoil.

 

But farming carries on, regardless of political psychodramas or health pandemics.

 

Our industry has moved heaven and earth to keep the wheels turning while ensuring the message to policymakers remains heard.

 

As an NFU Student and Young Farmer Ambassador, I have had some fantastic opportunities to promote agriculture through interviews with the BBC and The Times this year.

 

I think it is important that we, as farmers, put our heads above the parapet to defend our sector and help nurture strong public relations for the future.

 

Work

 

Based from our Sawley site, my role is predominately focused on our flagship project Conception to Consumption, which sits at the forefront of the group’s vision for sustainable beef.

 

Through industry collaboration, it aims to improve the efficiency and quality of beef in our supply chain.

 

Cattle breeding is a real passion of mine and in 2018 I established New Dawn Herefords with two pedigree females.

 

The renaissance of the Hereford echoes increased consumer demand for grass-fed and sustainable beef that does not cost the earth, literally.


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Having dreamt of owning our own land, Mum and I recently bought a small farm where I plan to breed easy-fleshing, functional cattle suited to the commercial market that can withstand the winds of change in the years ahead.

 

Policy

 

Increasing efficiency will be paramount for farms to remain profitable in the face of declining direct support as the Government outlines plans for England’s new domestic agriculture policy; the Environmental Land Management scheme.

 

The scheme aims to establish a marketplace for environmental practices and although many have questioned the motives for doing so, in principle it is the right way forward.

 

It goes without saying that food is not only a public good, but a fundamental necessity for life.

 

But we must all recognise that markets, despite their flaws, already exist for the food we produce.

 

So why should we expect taxpayers to fund direct subsidies, while effectively paying for food a second time through the checkout?

 

Whatever your view, we in agriculture must simply adapt and overcome, as we always do.

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