Meet our Oxford 2022 conference delegates

Three Future Farmers have been awarded prized bursary places at the big farming dates in Oxford in January 2022.

Ellie Exelby, Joe Weston and Pete Meadows will head to the country’s oldest university city in the new year to hear and take part in wide-ranging, topical debate about farming and its future.

Ellie will be our chosen, sponsored delegate in attendance at the Oxford Real Farming Conference, while Joe and Pete will represent the Future Farmers of Yorkshire at rival event, the Oxford Farming Conference where the theme is ‘Routes to Resilience’.

Both conferences are held on 5-7 January 2022.

Our Future Farmers will be sharing their experiences afterwards in the form of written reports which will be made available for our wider membership to read.

Meet our delegates

Ellie Exelby – Rural Surveyor, George F White, based in Bedale

Ellie Exelby

I’m from an organic mixed farm in the Yorkshire Dales and have wanted to attend one of these events over the last few years.

From a young age, I’ve worked on the farm and this interest in agriculture took me to Harper Adams University where I studied for an undergraduate degree in Countryside and Environmental Management.

My learning journey has continued since. In 2019, I graduated with a Masters in Rural Estate and Land Management and last year I qualified as a professional member at the RICS.

Now, I work as a Rural Surveyor advising clients on all aspects of land management.

I understand we are at a critical time where farmers, landowners, tenants, and indeed my family are starting to make important decisions to hopefully emerge resilient in the unknown future of UK agriculture.

There are many considerations for farmers including potential future opportunities such as BPS lump sum pay-outs, woodland planting and environmental grants.

There’s also the change in the Environment Bill where Net Biodiversity Gain may come in in the next two years, diversification, agricultural tenancies, the Agriculture Act, etc.

The problem is that most of these topics have not been decided and the implications of making a decision at farm level is not yet fully understood.

Pete Meadows – Assistant Farm Manager, Escrick Park Estate, south of York

Pete MeadowsI studied Agriculture at Aberystwyth before starting my career, which has subsequently brought me up to Escrick Park Estate.

My role at the Estate encompasses agricultural interests as well as property and general estate management, and with the huge shift in agricultural policy, we are reviewing the best way forward for the Estate in theses uncertain times.

I am passionate about the industry and keen to step up and learn from some of the brightest minds in the agricultural sector if given the chance.

I would love to then have the opportunity to feed back my findings to the wider farming group so that it can be a learning experience for all.

Without the bursary, it would not be an opportunity which I feel I could access and therefore it will make a huge impact on me at the start of my farming career.

Joe Weston – Fieldsman, RS Cockerill, near York

Joe WestonWe’re going through a period of unparalleled change within agriculture and I believe that in such circumstances it is important to be fully aware of the challenges we face.

I have often followed reports coming out of the conferences and the topics of debate is undoubtedly pertinent to the topics of today, offering much cause for thought.

Bursary opportunities

As an enterprising network of younger farmers, vets and industry professionals supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Future Farmers sponsors a select number of its members each year to attend key industry events to further their personal and professional development, and to share what they learn for the benefit of their peers.

Reports from our previous bursary recipients are available to read via our homepage.

Stay in touch with us to hear about future opportunities.

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