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Deputy Minister meets Future Farmers of Wales

DEPUTY MINISTER for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans, met with representatives from Future Farmers of Wales to discuss opportunities for young farmers to progress in the industry.

Future Farmers of Wales is a group of proven practical young farmers, prepared to discuss and express views, concerns and ideas for the future of farming and the rural community in Wales.

The Deputy Minister said: “New lifeblood and fresh ideas are essential for Welsh agriculture to meet the challenges of an everchanging industry, and young people are the key drivers of the change we need if we are to deliver a resilient, sustainable and profitable farming industry for Wales.

Ms Evans continued: “I welcome the contribution that the Future Farmers of Wales can make to help us address this challenge and am grateful for the opportunity to discuss this with them. I am looking forward to hearing their experiences of the sector to date, and hearing any suggestions they might have to help us find innovative ways of supporting mobility within the industry.”

Just last week the Deputy Minister announced a package of support to Wales Young Farmers Clubs to help them continue their important work in helping to develop our future farmers and farming leaders.

The Welsh Government is also working closely with the Young Entrants Support Scheme (YESS) Stakeholder Group to identify appropriate mechanisms of support for young and new entrants through the new Wales Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014 – 2020.

The group recently met to discuss Malcolm Thomas’ report into the Next Generation into Farming, which makes a number of key recommendations to encourage mobility within the farming industry. The Deputy Minister will make an announcement on next steps in the summer.

The Deputy Minister is due to meet Joy Smith, the new Chairman of Future Farmers of Wales, and Rhys Lougher, South Wales Ambassador, at Rhys’ Ty Tanglwyst Farm in Bridgend where she will take a short tour of the dairy facility before meeting them and other representatives from the organisation.

The current President of Future Farmers of Wales is Professor Wynne Jones, who recently completed a review of Learning Delivered by Further Education Colleges and the Relevance of that Delivery in Supporting Farm Businesses in Wales. Professor Jones’ report makes a number of clear and helpful recommendations on the potential opportunities for working together and for relationships that could be developed between colleges and the farming industry.