Developed by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in partnership with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), the online Fit for Business Guide is one component of a three-part Building Skills project, funded by Defra, which also includes bespoke training for Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs).
The online guide includes information about conservation agriculture, the role of integrated pest management (IPM) and agroforestry as well as links to further resources.
The guide builds on NFYFC’s work with the GWCT to bring information and advice on integrated conservation farming practices at the Allerton Project Farm to young farmers, next generation land managers and new entrants.
GWCT’s Allerton Project team researches the effects of different farming methods on wildlife and the environment and identifies management that delivers multiple benefits for sustainable food production as well as environmental good. This work covers natural capital accounting, agri-environment schemes and regenerative farming systems.
Joe Stanley, GWCT’s Head of Training and Partnerships said: “A timely project which acknowledges the need for additional skills to accommodate the many emerging Defra policies as well as recommendations from Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy.
“With a training offer to share good practice and a farm to demonstrate the commercial benefits, NFYFC and GWCT are pleased to collaborate again on a project to help share news, offer training and signpost for further information during this time of agricultural transition. We hope this guide helps young farmers identify the skills they may need, information to help progress their career or land management plans and provide training options.”
Members of the YFC AGRI group met in June at the Allerton Project Farm to discuss the necessary skills needed for emerging policies, fledgling businesses and new entrant opportunities. Members of the group made the most of sharing their farming and land management experience whilst considering future business viability and skills needed.
In a discussion that explored ways to help new entrants and next generation farmers deliver sustainability, the group agreed that clear food labelling showing environmental impact will be part of the necessary marketing tools for consumer awareness. They also agreed there was a need for a practical, realistic approach to the effects of seismic policy change and trade deals.
Groups of YFC members will now also visit the Allerton Farm Project to gain insight on its working practices too, as part of the Building Skills project.
Outgoing YFC AGRI Chairman and poultry farmer Tom Pope said: “A fresh approach of collaborative support for skills and establishing sustainable businesses are high on young farmers’ agendas. The Fit for Future Business Guide is something I whole-heartedly recommend that is read and shared so many more young farmers can make the most of the wealth of information that has been researched and put into practice by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
“YFC AGRI has been active in exploring ways to help new entrants and next generation farmers deliver sustainability, and feedback includes clear food labelling showing environmental impact as part of the necessary marketing tools for consumer awareness, as well as a practical, realistic approach to the effects of policy change and trade deals.”