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LAMMA 2021

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Young farmer focus: Rhianna Melton - 'I believe agriculture is one of the best industries out there'

Rhianna Melton, 16 , lives on a pig farm with 140 acres of cereals in Hemingstone, Suffolk.

Background

 

Living in rural Suffolk, farming is my whole life as there is not much else to do in the middle of nowhere.

 

It is in my blood and has always been my dream.

 

Young Farmers has been a great stepping stone and my past six years in the federation have bought valued experiences and incredible friends.

 

Apologies to pig lovers, but recent 4am starts to load pigs mean I am not a great fan and am going my own way with a flock of sheep and herd of cows.


Between farmwork and school, YFC is a large part of my life.

 

Competitive

 

I am often described as competitive and so naturally throw myself into every competition.

 

This year’s calendar might have been mostly cancelled, but as a federation we have mastered the art of virtual competitions.

 

I have competed up to national level, with competitions ranging from dressing up as a fairy, to stock judging and song writing.


Last year, I was able to take this competitiveness up a notch, competing at junior member of the year and making it to nationals, then becoming part of National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs youth forum.

 

Along with the bonus of residentials, this involves meetings allowing younger voices to be heard and recently has brought great opportunities that I am thankful to have been involved with.

Awareness

 

During lockdown, we made a resource promoting mental health awareness.

 

This was promoted over social media.

 

I then spoke at a British Youth Council meeting to share our work with other organisations.


Organisations

 

I am also involved with Suffolk Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, which has supported me through many endeavours.

 

It was here I was inspired to look more into mixed farming methods.

 

A recent YFC competition, in partnership with the NFU, looked at ideas of how to reach net zero by 2040.

 

Here I spoke about how older farming methods combined with the modern ones, of course, could help the industry to be greener.


I may be biased, but I believe agriculture is one of the best industries out there, so it is important to boast about what we do.

 

I am all for trying new ‘fashionable’ foods but it is important to get our story across too and give people an understanding of why they should support British farmers.


It is not always easy, but working with these organisations, I am optimistic our industry has a strong future.

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