MP for Penrith and The Border and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee member; Dr Neil Hudson, welcomed the NFU's Next Generation Forum to Parliament to discuss his roles and
The Next Generation Forum are a group of English farmers early in their career who help emerging farmers establish themselves and access skills ; build networks to promote ideas, knowledge and commercial opportunities; and advocate for progressive policy that supports and inspires emerging farming entrepreneurs. The group included one of Dr Hudson's constituents, Chris Dickinson of the Tailored Goat Company, whose family have farmed in the Eden Valley for generations.
As an elected EFRA Committee member, Veterinary Surgeon and the member for England's largest and most rural constituency, Dr Hudson shared his valuable expertise with the group before taking part in an in-depth, rewarding and at times challenging discussion on the farming sector and where it is headed.
Topics being debated ranged from improving land-based education and career pathways to how spiralling farming costs are hitting food producers and the impact of transitional farm payment systems.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said:
"It was such a pleasure to host some of England's future farming stars in Parliament this week. There was a real wealth of talent and expertise in the room which led to thoughtful, incisive, and frankly challenging discussions that I found extremely valuable.
"My main takeaway is that we really need to invest in young people starting out in the farming sector; from providing education, training and signposted career pathways to emerging farmers to wider industry support with farm payments, increasing production costs and their relationships with sellers.
"That said, if the farmers I met are any reflection of the wider industry, then it is clear the sector is in safe hands!"