Enquiring younger farmers who are keen to get ahead as their industry enters a new era, are invited to apply for some fantastic bursary opportunities from the Future Farmers of Yorkshire.

Future Farmers is an enterprising network of younger farmers, vets and industry professionals supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. Each year, the group sponsors a select number of Future Farmers to attend key industry events to further their personal and professional development, and to share what they learn for the benefit of their peers.

With many major agricultural events having taken place online during the pandemic, the next round of big industry dates come with the welcome prospect of enriching networking opportunities as the top conferences are set to be staged face to face once again.

The Future Farmers of Yorkshire is offering two such opportunities to get involved. It is offering sponsorship to attend two of the biggest dates in the industry’s events calendar, the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) and the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC).

It is a chance to attend the hallowed halls of Oxford for the first face-to-face Oxford Farming Conferences in two years. Organisers are determined to make them the best yet.

Alastair Trickett Future Farmers of Yorkshire Chair

Alastair Trickett, Chair of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire who farms near Leeds said: “Both challenges and opportunities are in sight for farmers at this pivotal period for British agriculture.

“New government policy will undoubtedly play a role in future on-farm decision making, and therefore it is vital that younger generations grasp opportunities to hear fresh thinking and contribute to the debate about the future of the industry. It’s for this very reason that Future Farmers of Yorkshire is committed to offering a continuous programme of bursary opportunities to younger industry professionals.”

The 2022 Oxford Farming Conference will be held on 5-7 January. The theme is ‘Routes to Resilience’. Delegates will be part of the event’s renowned debate where the motion that ‘food production in the UK should not be subsidised’ will be discussed.

Ben Parker, an arable farmer from York, was awarded a Future Farmers bursary to attend the last OFC. He benefitted greatly from meeting like-minded young people working across all aspects of UK agriculture.

Ben said: “Making new contacts and meeting other conference delegates was a fantastic opportunity for my personal development and business growth in the future. I found everybody at the conference, including speakers, very happy to chat.”

Rival ORFC, which is fast gaining in popularity, takes place on the same dates next January. It brings together voices from the agroecological farming movement, including organic and regenerative farming.

Representing Future Farmers at the last ORFC was Vale of York mixed farmer Angus Gowthorpe who said: “It has helped me to bring home more practical ideas which I can incorporate into my own farming practices. This will help me on my journey to achieving carbon net zero status whilst being a more profitable business.”

If you would like to attend one of the industry’s two premier events next January, email futurefarmers@yas.co.uk or direct message Future Farmers via Twitter @FutureFarmerYAS telling us why it should be you. The closing date is 14th October.

Chosen delegates will be asked to write and talk about their experience and share updates on social media from the conference they attend.

Membership of Future Farmers of Yorkshire is free. To join the group, contact futurefarmers@yas.co.uk