Embracing change – Future Farmers GYS Breakfast Meeting preview

In this blog post, Caroline Horn, Chair of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire Breakfast Meeting at the Great Yorkshire Show and Partner and Rural Chartered Surveyor of George F. White LLP explains why the Breakfast Meeting topic is so relevant.

Brexit, change in the agricultural policy, removal of basic payment scheme, the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine, soaring costs… what next?

The removal of direct support; a push to provide public goods; uncertainty over trade deals; farmers being encouraged to exit the industry; the next generation being encouraged to start farming but struggling to find funding; a plethora of new schemes to understand and the possible changes on the horizon to inheritance tax and reform of capital gains tax legislation: all these things put pressure on farmers to make the right decisions to move their businesses successfully forward.

We can learn a lot from the past, but we need to embrace the future.

*The event is free of charge, however, either a valid show ticket or YAS membership is required to gain admission to the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Embracing change

Some people think farmers never change. In my view, farmers have always embraced change and those who do it well are in the top 25 per cent of performers.

Farmers must continue to be open-minded and embrace change and focus on the things they can change, for example cost control, setting budgets and continually reviewing those budgets, benchmarking, analysing the market, focusing on the detail, innovating and specialising.

Fundamentally, with all the changes happening around us in the world that are completely out of our control, we must focus on what we can change.

A clear vision on where the business is and where it is going is critical. Once this is set, the above points will be easier to establish and follow.

A great line up for GYS date

I am very much looking forward to chairing the Future Farmers of Yorkshire’s Breakfast Meeting at the Great Yorkshire Show.

Entitled ‘Bounce without breaking – building resilient farm businesses’, it will provide a fantastic discussion and will hopefully demonstrate that even small changes can have a huge impact on farm businesses, with panellists having examples to prove it is possible.

We have a great panel line-up (pictured below).

Becki Leach is Head of People and Senior Consultant at Kite Consulting.

Becki delivers people management and recruitment consultancy to large dairy businesses across the UK, supporting dairy farmers with professionalising their approach to recruiting, retaining and training their teams.

She has worked directly with farmers in roles across the dairy, beef and sheep sectors.

Joining Becki will be Adam Palmer, from Thixendale.

After taking over the farm at Breckenholme in 2000, he has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps farming both arable crops and sheep and has grown the business by diversifying.

Adam has always been interested in the field-to-plate journey and in 2008, sold his first bottle of cold-pressed rapeseed oil.

The business has gone on to produce a wide range of products including flavoured oils, dressings, and mayonnaises.

Also joining the panel is Phil Halhead.

Phil is a dairy farmer with a 300-cow Holstein dairy herd and also the founder of Norbreck Genetics.

Norbreck provides high-quality beef semen from multiple breeds to organizations both large and small around the world.

Completing our line up on the panel are Mark Pearson and Chris Harrison.

Mark is Senior Agricultural Manager at Oxbury Bank Plc covering the North of England.

Raised on an arable and pig farm in East Yorkshire, Mark has previously worked in livestock marketing and as a land agent before spells with NatWest and HSBC.

Mark’s switch to agri-banking was prompted by the 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis.

Chris Harrison is a farmer based in North Yorkshire specialising in free range layers and arable.

He is part of a family enterprise which has spanned five generations and experienced a turning point in 2010 with the introduction of free range layers.

The laying sheds are custom designed to ensure the farm’s high standards are achieved and good production is maintained.

Where and when

The Future Farmers of Yorkshire Breakfast Meeting at the Great Yorkshire Show takes place on Wednesday 12th July at the GYS Stage, near Grey Gate.

Breakfast rolls, coffee and networking will be on offer from 7.45am, with the panel discussion kicking off from 8.15am to 9.15am.

*The event is free of charge, however, either a valid show ticket or YAS membership is required to gain admission to the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Kind thanks to our Breakfast Meeting sponsors

Start typing and press Enter to search