Speaking at the Welsh Agriculture: Embracing Change for Success session at the annual NFU Conference at the ICC Birmingham on Tuesday 20th February, Laura Elliott, Wales YFC Chairman gave an insight to some of the key issues from a next generation point of view along with acknowledging the work of Wales YFC in generating industry leaders within the organisation.

She stated that; ‘Young people have many hurdles to overcome on their way into the industry - sourcing a farm being one of them, but schemes such as Farming Connects Venture offer a great opportunity to create a joint venture between an established farm and an individual who is keen to progress in farming; schemes like this should be supported encouraged.’

‘Technology and innovation are inextricably linked to the future success of the agricultural industry. As the next generation of farmers, research is key and playing an increasing role in the sustainability and efficiency of food production. It’s crucial that our Government continues to invest in research and development post 2020.’

Another key theme mentioned was the importance of education across all ages that will not only increase the profile of Welsh produce, but promote the farming story and breaking down the stereotypes within the industry. 'Initiatives such as Open Farm Sundays are key in educating the public and would have a strong effect on current perceptions. More education is needed on food and farming in schools, that’s a given, but the small steps we can take to promote ourselves every day will reap rewards if it educates even one person to change their perception of the industry and even their shopping habits.'

‘The young farmer’s movement in Wales have supported members to put some of their points across to Government to influence future agricultural policy alongside headline concerns over trade arrangements, financial support, labour sources and market regulation. YFC is a key player within the industry that continues to nurture the development of rural young people, creating leaders and supporting those with agricultural ambitions by providing informal training and personal development, growing confidence and new ideas.’