Young Farmers Training Day

Young Farmers Training Day

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Finding faith in the future of grassland farming yesterday were 18 members of the NFYFC who travelled to Eastfields Farm near Crewekerne in Somerset to attend the BGS-NFYFC grassland training day and launch of our Grassland Farmer of the Future Competition.

The day included presentations about different aspects of grassland farming before going on a farm walk and then setting the farm scenario for which participants will need to develop a profitable farm business plan to enter the competition.

Our thanks go Matthew and Coral Senior for hosting the event at their organically managed farm, which they run on a share farming agreement. Their story of small beginnings to where they are now; including the success that they had reaching the final of the BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year award in 2012, was a huge inspiration to the young farmers. During the farm walk they found out about the use of clover, which are sown in all leys on the farm, and other legumes including lucerne, red clover and vetches being grown to maximise protein in home-grown forages. Also discussed were strategies for maximising nitrogen cycling and utilisation from slurry in the organic system and pasture management for the promotion of desired species.

Thank you also to the invited speakers who supported the event by imparting their knowledge and know-how to the next generation: David Lee, BGS president 2014/15 spoke about his experience adopting the New Zealand system; David Burton, Natural England covered environmental considerations and some of the changes to future environmental schemes; Poppy Frater, EBLEX gave examples from the sheep and beef sectors and got the participants to develop their own grazing plans for a hypothetical sheep farm.

“All of the young farmers were very keen and knowledgeable, having some great conversations about the potential of grassland. It was a pleasure to see their motivation to become successful farmers and I can’t wait to see their competition entries which I’m sure will be innovative and impressive”. Charlotte Evans, BGS

Details of the competition scenario and deadline can be found by clicking here

 

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