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AGM17: Young farmers must set the scene for Brexit do’s and don’ts

Young farmers have been pushed to raise their voices in Brexit negotiations at the NFYFC 2017 agri-forum.



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Members were keen to discuss future plans
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AGM17: Young farmer voice must be strong in Brexit opportunities

Taking on the challenge at a political break-out session at the NFYFC Annual Convention in Torquay this weekend, 30-year-old Sam Dilcock said he would call on the Government to recognise trust and traceability.

 

The Selby YFC representative said the industry needed people to not only trust what farmers do, but also what they produce.

 

“Ultimately traceability is a major point for UK products,” Mr Dilcock added in the mock-up local hustings.

 

“What we would like to know is what investment will be made into UK agriculture infrastructure to help producers and consumers understand and access records such as country of origin, pesticide use and environmental stewardship so they can trust in what they are purchasing and trust what we are doing as producers.”

 

Also high on the young farmer agenda was a need for the Government to consult regulation, animal welfare, start up loans, inheritance tax and the future viability of rural areas.

 

NFU vice president Guy Smith said the industry should start seeing Brexit as an ‘opportunity rather than a threat’ and encouraged young farmers to make their voices heard.


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Guy Smith: Why is it important for young farmers to be politically engaged?

He said: “It is not about how big and important we are but how what we do influences other people so it becomes in their interest as well as ours.”

 

But Charlotte Smith, BBC Farming Today presenter and upcoming president of NFYFC, warned youngsters should be watchful of their language when trying to push industry demands.

 

Accessible

She said: “If you are going into a situation where a lot of people there are not farmers, be very aware of that.

 

“They will not understand what you are talking about, so you need to make it as accessible to them as possible.”

 

Mrs Smith said the industry should work cleverly by wording their calls with an initial positive statement before making something of demand.

 

“Don’t make it, oh it’s us farmers and we want this,” she added.

 

“Try and actually make it ‘this is what we give to society and this is what we are worried about so therefore we want this’. Be really careful with your language.”

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