The Future Farmers of Yorkshire are proud to announce that their new Vice Chair is tenant farmer Nick Grayson. As he assumes the role, here, Nick introduces himself and offers his thoughts.
I run our tenanted farm near Rotherham with my wife Carys and two young sons. We farm 200 acres of arable land, a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle, a few rare-breed sheep and pigs, and at Christmas we have plenty of turkeys to keep us busy.
Our main passions are supplying local meat to the surrounding areas and farming using sustainable practices.
My family started producing Christmas turkeys on this farm in 1929 and we have carried on ever since. More recently we have introduced lamb, beef and pork boxes – sausages and bacon have proved a hit on Sunday mornings!
Production methods and farming practices remain very similar to those of the generations before and we try to farm in the most environmentally sensitive ways possible.
The creation of wild flower meadows help our bees produce superb honey, and environmentally friendly managed hedgerows throughout the farm create perfect habitats for our favorite farmland birds.
Our cattle are extensively reared and never forced or pushed using more modern feeding techniques.
The same applies to our turkeys, slow grown and fed using wheat grown here on the farm to produce the finest tasting Christmas turkey money can buy.
What a pivotal time the agricultural industry we’re all facing isn’t it? The industry is about to enter the next farming revolution if we can get this right!
Unfortunately though, no one knows where we might find ourselves by the end of 2020, never mind the coming five to 10 years. Then we’ve got Brexit, the weather (as always) and a media onslaught about climate change.
With all of this, the farming community can soon be full of doom and gloom, which makes the role of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire as a forward-thinking network of emerging industry leaders, all the more important.
Crucial role ahead
Future Farmers could not be more relevant or needed at such unprecedented times like these and I’m delighted to be the new Vice Chair.
With its finger firmly on the pulse of the latest developments within agriculture, our network is committed to relaying these in an informative yet appealing manner to its members. We are a welcome source of unbiased and free information for our 1,000-plus members.
Moving forwards to a time when direct subsidies have been phased out, it is inevitable some farmers are going to have to make some very tough decisions and Future Farmers is an ideal organisation to offer the help and support as all of us look at which way to turn for the best.
It is so important for us, as younger farmers, vets and industry professionals, to be making the UK’s agricultural industry a viable and appealing career prospect – and now so more than ever.
We need to attract young entrants into the industry and Future Farmers have a huge part to play in this; showing there is plenty of support out there for the up and coming farming minds of the future.