Why you should consider joining our Management Board – Future Farmer Davina Fillingham

In this blog post, Davina Fillingham reflects upon her time on the Future Farmers of Yorkshire Management Board and encourages others to consider getting involved.

As we face such significant policy changes in agriculture and more volatile agricultural markets, the development of tomorrow’s agricultural leaders is needed now more than ever.

I am a Partner at Dee Atkinson & Harrison Driffield, a livestock farmer, and a Nuffield Scholar and as a member of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire since 2012, I have found it to be a fantastic forum for meeting people within agriculture and the associated industries and gaining insights into the varied rural enterprises in Yorkshire.

Future Farmers is a group of more than 1,000 farmers, vets and other industry professionals supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

It aims to inspire the next generation of forward-thinking farmers, vets and other industry professionals who are eager to expand their knowledge and excel in their careers.

Everyone who gets involved is keen to discuss the industry’s challenges and share ideas on how to overcome them.

Positive reflections

This is the right time for me to reflect on my time with Future Farmers, as my term on the group’s Management Board comes to an end.

Over the last three years, it has been a privilege to have contributed to its events and programme of skills training.

It’s been a valuable opportunity to put something back into the agricultural community for the opportunities I have received, and to ensure Future Farmers continue to receive opportunities to expand their knowledge and develop their leadership skills.

Taking part in the group’s activities also takes you away from the day to day, allowing time for perspective on issues that can seem all-encompassing on the farm but in reality they are issues that everyone is having to deal with.

Varied programme of activities – year round

Future Farmers runs headline events including our annual Spring Debate which was held on Tuesday at the Great Yorkshire Showground, entitled Food and Nature: Finding the Right Balance, and our annual Great Yorkshire Show Breakfast Meeting; save the date for Wednesday 10th July.

It organises commercial skills workshops and training looking at topics such as financial management, preparing a tender for a farm tenancy, direct sales and mental health, and develops individual members through sponsored places at events such as Groundswell, the NFU Conference, the Oxford farming conferences, RABDF Entrepreneurs in Dairying and AHDB’s AgriLeader Forum.

It also offers industry visits to Yorkshire’s leading agricultural businesses.

Our Chairman Nick Grayson was keen to provide a social event for our members last November in the form of a Harvest Dinner Dance and it was a huge success.

The Management Board took great pride in being able to present £3,500 each to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and R.A.B.I from funds raised from an auction and raffle.

The date for the 2024 Dinner Dance is Saturday 23rd November 2024, so do put it in your diary.

A great platform

If I was to sum up my involvement with Future Farmers in one word, it would ‘opportunity’.

This was highlighted by our recent visit to Westminster to meet former Future Farmer, Robbie Moore MP for Ilkley and Keighley and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

We toured the Houses of Parliament and quizzed Mr Moore on flooding, food security, water quality management and tree planting.

It was an important day to visit the Commons as farming was the topic of an evening debate and Future Farmers of Yorkshire was even mentioned at the despatch box.

I would urge anyone who is passionate about agriculture to join the Future Farmers of Yorkshire and take up the opportunities available.

We are currently recruiting for new Management Board members who are keen to support and create opportunities for our members.

Click here for an application form, or if you have any questions, please contact us at futurefarmers@yas.co.uk

Membership of Future Farmers of Yorkshire is free and without obligation.

Help direct our activities and champion skills within British agriculture.

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