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Young farmers are our future, says UFU

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) with the support of Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), has welcomed 26 young farmers from across Northern Ireland onto the third tranche of the UFU Next Generation Committee. The launch took place at Crumlin Road Gaol yesterday evening (20 March).  

 

Commenting after the event, UFU president David Brown said, “We are delighted to finally announce the 26 young farmers who are on the third tranche of the UFU Next Generation Committee. An incredible number of applications were received, and the shortlisting exercise was extremely difficult due to the high calibre of people that responded. It reinforces the interest and passion among the next generation for local farming and food production.

 

“The UFU has always recognised the value of our young people and the need for inclusion. With this in mind, the Next Generation group was set up to create much-needed collaboration. The Next Generation Committee helps older members in YFCU to transition into the UFU while also offering those who are not UFU members, the opportunity to get involved in the Union which is equally as important. Within a supportive enviornment, young farmers from all over NI and from every commodity, are able to feed the views of the next generation into the UFU and network with a range of individuals from the agri-food industry, benefiting them in their individual farming careers.

 

“Agriculture never stands still, and we are navigating our way through significant changes from future agriculture policy to reducing emissions, TB proposals and everything in between. The direction of travel on all of these matters is going to directly impact our young farmers and their livelihoods. They need to be brought into these conversations and recognise what is happening beyond their farm gate because they are the future of farming and they have so much to offer this industry.

 

“We also need to continue raising awareness of farming, making agriculture relevant and interesting to the younger generations who are not directly involved with farming – this is extremely important. Every single one of us is impacted by food and farming and it’s vital that every young person, wherever they are in the country, gets the opportunity to understand how their food is produced. The Next Generation Committee can help us to achieve this.’

 

YFCU chief executive Gillian McKeown said, “YFCU are delighted to continue their support of the Next Generation Committee, as the third set of passionate individuals are announced. With an abundance of talent and ambition, the selection process was challenging yet inspiring, highlighting the commitment of our youth to the future of farming and food production.

 

“The establishment of the Next Generation Committee underscores the YFCU's unwavering belief in the power of inclusion and collaboration, bridging the generational gap and fostering a supportive environment for the exchange of ideas. As we navigate through the dynamic terrain of agricultural policy and environmental stewardship, it is imperative that our young farmers are not mere bystanders but active participants in shaping the trajectory of our industry.

 

“Encouraging the growth of young people’s rural voices, enriched by diverse perspectives and a sense of responsibility, holds the key to unlocking the potential of tomorrow's agriculture. Through this fantastic opportunity, let us not only celebrate their achievements but also continue our efforts in engaging and enlightening the broader community about the importance of farming and the wider agri-food industry".



Next Generation Committee members pictured at the launch of the third tranche.

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