Big Ideas Brunch
Every year at Annual Convention, NFYFC hosts an agricultural discussion forum, which is focused on issues affecting young farmers and the future of farming. NFYFC’s 2018 AGRI Brunch is sponsored by Kuhn Farm Machinery UK and you are invited to join industry experts who will give their insight on starting, growing and diversifying an agri or rural venture.
When: Saturday 5 May 2018
Time: Doors open at 10.30am for an 11am start.
Where: The Pavillion Theatre, Winter Gardens
Three entrepreneurs, with successful business track records, will be sharing their knowledge with AGRI Chair James Hutchinson and fellow young farmers in this special session at Annual Convention 2018 in Blackpool.
Joined by NFYFC President and Farming Today Presenter Charlotte Smith, the session promises to be lively and informative.
There’s never been a greater need for a highly-skilled and efficient workforce to keep the countryside thriving, producing great quality food, sustainable tourism and natural habitats – and boosting brand Britain! If you’re into technology and training, food, farming and the countryside, come and share your views and questions about your rural future.
There will be FREE bacon rolls on offer to everyone who attends this session and a chance to see a range of industry exhibitors too.
Meet the experts
The successful tenant farmer
Chris Cardell was elected as national spokesperson for the NFU National Tenants' Group in 2014.
A farmer from Cornwall, Chris appreciates the many challenges in the marketplace. He has worked hard to raise the profile of the services available to all NFU members, on land and rental issues and to provide a viable sector for existing tenants, young entrants and landlords. He has championed the need for the land tenure sector to have “every tool in the box” but whatever agreement you settle on, he is convinced the agreement must now be specifically written.
A Cornish tenant dairy farmer and proprietor of Roseland Kennels & Cattery, near Truro. Along with his wife Dawn, they have progressed through the Cornwall County Farms structure and now rent their third holding on the estate. Starting on a part-time stock holding of 50 acres, they then progressed to a neighbouring dairy holding and now reside at Trevorva Farm running the dairy herd and a substantial diversification in the form of Roseland Kennels & Cattery, employing a total of 6 permanent or part time staff. The opportunities that the County Council Farms has provided for Chris and the family help to remind him how crucial these holdings are to the industry.
Chris has a son who is a professional musician and a married daughter who runs a successful contract business with her husband and have recently embarked on renting their own land.
The family have all been heavily involved with their local YFC and held many positions within club and county. Chris currently attends the county executive committee.
The last time Chris attended an AGM in Blackpool he took part in the county ‘wotnot’ and cycled all the way from Cornwall. Thankfully a more suitable mode of transport will be used this year.
The successful diversifier
Rob Boole is a qualified agronomist who runs a contract crop spraying business covering 70,000 acres per year. The company, which is run in partnership with his parents, specialises in a supply and apply programme for its customers.
Rob and his wife Charlotte also run an award-winning training centre specialising in accredited courses for the land based sector. The pair first started the enterprise because they were concerned about the number of accidents occurring on family run farms. In 2014 they decided to organise a few first aid courses for their young farming friends. The couple then became proactive in encouraging their farming neighbours to gain adequate training in maintaining and operating the machinery on their farms.
In 2015, Greenway Training was launched. This successful farm diversification enterprise now offers a large range of accessible courses within a working farm environment. Converted cowsheds have been used to create light airy classrooms and dedicated training workshops. These facilities along with an office and kitchen make excellent use of otherwise redundant farm buildings.
Rob has always been a keen member of his local Young Farmers' Club (Malmesbury) and local arable discussion group. In recent years Rob has also taken on two arable units on long term FBTs.
Rob and Charlotte have a very energetic two year old daughter who loves tractors!
The successful businessman
Sir John Campbell is a Peeblesshire farmer and founder of Glenrath Farms in West Linton. He gained the recognition for his services to farming and charitable service to entrepreneurship and received a knighthood in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.
His company is the largest farming business in Scotland and has an annual turnover well in excess of £50 million and it produces, packs and sells almost 1.5 million eggs per day and has now grown to be one of the UK’s leading egg suppliers. Sir John started his career on a hill farm in Argyllshire at 15 along with his brother. They were so successful they were soon able to buy out the tenancy.
When he turned 27, he and his wife Lady Cathy moved to Peeblesshire and acquired Glenrath. Sir John has taken an interest in developing young people who are just starting out in the industry and launched a scheme that offers low-interest loans to young farmers wanting to start producing eggs on contract for the business.
The firm is managed by the family, with all of John and Cathy’s four children working for the company. Their eldest son Ian is now managing director.
Sir John has won the UK Farm Business of the Year Award in the House of Commons, twice; has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Egg Commission; has received an honorary fellowship of Scotland’s Rural College and was awarded an OBE at the millennium for services to the farming industry.
Charlotte Smith was elected President of NFYFC in 2017 during the Annual General Meeting at NFYFC's Annual Convention in Torquay.
Charlotte Smith is a freelance journalist who presents BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme and is also a regular presenter on BBC1’s Countryfile.
After working in local radio, regional TV and as a news journalist for BBC TV and radio, a conversation in a lift led her into rural affairs. 20 years later she considers that she has the best job in the BBC. She was born and brought up in rural Leicestershire but now lives in London with her husband, two children and a grumpy cat.
Charlotte is delighted to be involved with Young Farmers at such a crucial time for the industry.