Future Farmers heading to Groundswell 2024

Four Future Farmers of Yorkshire are heading to Groundswell this summer as successful bursary applicants.

The annual regenerative agriculture-focused event, held on 26-27th June in Hertfordshire is a hot ticket, having become firmly established as the place to be to delve into one of British agriculture’s most-talked about topics.

Representing Future Farmers

Earlier this year, Future Farmers of Yorkshire invited its members to apply for a bursary to cover the costs of attending Groundswell 2024.

There was once again fierce competition for places and after much consideration, we can now introduce those who will be representing us as Future Farmers at this year’s festival.

Each of our bursary recipients will be sharing the benefits of their experiences in reports which will be available via the Future Farmers webpage later this summer.

Meet our Groundswell attendees  

Anna Pennell

Anna is a first generation farmer near Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, who is passionate about farming British Native and Rare breeds. She keeps some 350 ewes as well as rearing and breeding critically rare breed Large Black pigs.

Anna also has a flourishing meatbox business, selling direct to consumers, as well as a growing wool business as she keeps Wensleydale Longwools amongst other native breeds of sheep.

Anna told us:

I am very focused on trying to make the best of the land we have both for ourselves, our animals and the surrounding nature and am very interested in learning as much about regenerative agriculture as possible to put into practise here.

To be able to go to Groundswell would be such an opportunity to learn as much as possible about current and future practise that would help define and push my farm to where I want it to be over the next 5-10 years in terms of food production working alongside nature whilst remaining a profitable and sustainable business.

Natalie Moore

Natalie, from Tadcaster, is a grain buyer for Saxon Agriculture. She also runs a flock of 80 commercial breeding ewes on a low-input system.

Natalie Moore

Natalie told us:

Everything I know about farming comes from talking to people or attending things like Groundswell and I would like to win a bursary place to Groundswell to further enhance my knowledge of regenerative agriculture and meet people who share my ideas and passions.

Meeting likeminded people spurs you on to keep pushing on with your plans and dreams.

Silvie Rackham

Bradford-born and Huddersfield-based Silvie works as a Grower at Northern Roots in Oldham where they are building an Urban Farm, by regenerating a post-industrial greenspace to provide opportunities for local people to connect with the land and benefit from its produce.

Silvie is applying regenerative and organic principles to the farm’s development and was recently involved with introducing an agroforesty system.

She told us:

Groundswell will be such an amazing experience I hope to connect & learn from others & leave feeling inspired with some ideas to use on the Urban Farm in Oldham.

I recently listened to the Groundswell session by Catlixta on the festival’s YouTube channel and was inspired by her passion for crop diversity.

Jeff Lill

Jeff is a first-generation farmer with a mixed farm near Malton. He describes his enterprise as “small but we have ambition”, having got started in 2021.

Jeff and his wife Alison are gradually increasing their Romney sheep flock and want to enhance the farm’s biodiversity having recently entered into the Sustainable Farming Incentive.

He told us:

At this stage of our careers, we need to gain an insight into the options that are available to us so that we shape our farm for the future years.

We have met a local ‘regenerative farmer’ and are attracted to this pathway. However, we need further knowledge which we believe Groundswell would provide.

We want to put what we learn at Groundswell into practice on our farm. Not only would we benefit, but the local environment would also benefit in the long run.

Future Farmers of Yorkshire

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

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