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Marketing gurus urge young farmers to ‘shout louder’ to make their mark

Marketing gurus urge young farmers to ‘shout louder’ to make their mark

Young farmers will be told they need to be bolder about self-promotion and be proud of their products if they want to build a successful career in the industry.

This critical advice will be delivered by industry leading marketing experts who will make up the panellists at The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) AGRI Forum 2017, which will be held during its Annual Convention in Torquay this April.

The event, called Making our Mark!, which is sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK) and supported by Defra, will be held on Saturday 22 April 2017 in the Forum at the International Riviera Centre in Torquay from 11am.  

The AGRI Forum is a major attraction during the weekend for YFC members and representatives from the agricultural and rural industries. This year’s discussion is set to be the biggest yet with four major marketing and industry names preparing to share their wisdom.

Speakers include Alexia Robinson, Founder of British Food Fortnight; Simon Haley, co-founder of @AgrichatUK and general social media and agribusiness expert; Jane King, former editorial director of Farmers Weekly and current Chief Executive of AHDB; and Guy Smith, Vice President of the NFU.  

Alexia Robinson said: “Like it or not we live in a social media-driven world where he who shouts the loudest gets a lot of publicity and there are no prizes for shrinking violets.  This is not a natural trait in many farmers, most are more used to just quietly getting on with their daily work.  

“British farm produce is some of the very best in the world; there is so much to shout about and we all need to be smarter about telling the consumer why it is so high quality and why they should buy it.”

The AGRI Forum is organised by NFYFC’s Agricultural and Rural Issues (AGRI) Steering Group and a new topic is chosen annually.

AGRI Chairman Harriet Wilson, from Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, explained why marketing was chosen as this year’s topic: “There are testing times ahead for the industry so it is imperative that, as young farmers, we are equipped with the necessary skills to market ourselves, our businesses and our products if we want to succeed. This year’s AGRI Forum will help our YFC members and guests learn more about the key marketing essentials and how to make use of all of the opportunities available.”

Self-styled social media expert Simon Haley will advise young farmers on how to take advantage of the internet. He said: "We are all our own brands. And brand perception is absolutely integral to growth and success. Once you introduce that concept onto a digital platform, the internet becomes a powerful tool with which to project yourself and research others."

The AGRI Steering Group is sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK) and the company are also sponsoring the AGRI Forum.

Siân Pritchard, Managing Director at Kuhn Farm Machinery (UK), said:  “Having spent most of my career working for Kuhn from its global headquarters in Saverne, France and fulfilling various marketing and sales roles across Europe, I commend NFYFC’s AGRI Steering Group for highlighting the importance of marketing in young farmers’ personal and professional development.”

An additional discussion group facilitated by NFU Vice President Guy Smith follows the main AGRI forum. Young farmers will be encouraged to collaborate and talk further about considerations for a future British agricultural policy in this session.  

Guy Smith said: “This time last year YFC members had a fair bit to say about Brexit. Now it's actually happened it's really important they continue the conversation. Decisions made by politicians in the next few years could colour the prospects for U.K. Farming for a generation. So it's vital that the next generation makes its voice heard now.’

There will also be the opportunity to network over lunch and view exhibitions. Please email sarah.palmer@nfyfc.org.uk if you would like to attend the event.
For further information, including profiles of each of the panellists, visit: www.yfcconvention.org.uk/whats-on/agri-forum. Follow the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #YFCAGRIForum.

-ENDS-

NOTES TO EDITORS
Each panellist, plus the chairman of the AGRI steering group, will be available for media interviews after the AGRI Forum. Biographies for all the main speakers are available on the next page.

For more information please contact one of the following:
Cheryl Liddle – Communications Consultant – cheryl.liddle@nfyfc.org.uk – 07717 853823
Sarah Palmer – NFYFC AGRI Officer – sarah.palmer@nfyfc.org.uk

Annual Convention
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) Annual Convention is the highlight of the YFC calendar for our members. More than 5,500 Young Farmers from across England and Wales gather together to celebrate being part of one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK. Further information about the event can be found at: www.yfcconvention.org.uk.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is one of the largest youth organisations in the UK. It heads a nationwide body of 624 Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) located throughout England and Wales dedicated to supporting young people in agriculture and the countryside. Their memberships comprise more than 24,000 members aged 10 to 26 and they provide a unique opportunity for members to develop skills, work with the local community, travel abroad, take part in a varied competitions programme and enjoy a dynamic social life. There are a further 1,100 associate members, many of whom are involved in the running of the clubs and NFYFC. For more information about NFYFC, visit www.nfyfc.org.uk.

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