Nick Grayson, the new Chair of Future Farmers of Yorkshire, explains what the network means to him in this blog post.
Not long out of university, fresh faced and full of ideas, I quickly learnt to stand on my own two feet.
I lost my father to stomach cancer and succeeded to the farm tenancy at the age of 23.
I farm at Nether Haugh, on the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Estate, located on the outskirts of Rotherham.
I am the fourth generation of my family to farm this land.
It had always been my ambition to take over Nether Haugh Farm, but this was far sooner than I had ever expected.
At the time I found myself way out of my depth and looking for all the help I could get.
Involved from the start
By a stroke of luck, I somehow stumbled across the Future Farmers of Yorkshire which back then was just in its infancy.
It has now grown into a fantastic and unique organisation, there is nothing else quite like it on offer in the UK.
For that we have the Yorkshire Agricultural Society to thank, without whom Future Farmers of Yorkshire wouldn’t be possible.
Getting more out of membership
I have been fortunate to experience some excellent opportunities over the past nine years including bursaries to the NFU’s annual conference, the Oxford Farming Conference and AHDB AgriLeader Forum, to name a few.
The personal development courses offered have also been invaluable to me, with lessons learnt on the negotiation skills course used daily.
I’m also signed up for media training, a vital skill to share our passion and knowledge for food and farming with the public, our customers.
Taking the helm
I am very much looking forward to chairing Future Farmers of Yorkshire for the next three years.
Agriculture is facing unprecedented times, with every sector of the industry being turned on its head and dealing with huge changes.
Yorkshire has a diverse agricultural industry, which I am keen to see thrive and prosper through these times, leaving a flourishing industry for my three young boys to enter, should they so wish.
Future Farmers of Yorkshire can not only provide the tools to help our members broaden their knowledge and develop more resilient businesses, but also offers some fantastic networking opportunities, to meet like-minded people.
I’ve met people through Future Farmers who I would now class as some of my closest friends.
Future Farmers now has more than 1,000 members made up of industry professionals, farmers, vets, land agents, nutritionists, and many other allied industries.
I would love to see our membership continue to grow, through the uncertain times in which we are all trying to farm.
Here to help
Regardless of your age or profession, if you have some form of involvement in agriculture, Future Farmers is here to help you.
I look forward to conversing with and meeting as many of our members as possible over the coming years.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Alastair Trickett, our outgoing chairman, for doing an outstanding job of developing Future Farmers of Yorkshire into what it is today.
I look forward to embracing the role whole-heartedly and doing all I can for the future of agriculture in Yorkshire.