In the first competition of its kind at Cereals, youngsters from the farming community will compete for the title of “Young Advocate for Agriculture” in the X Factor style 2010 National Debating Competition.

The award will be battled out between teams from some of UK’s agricultural colleges and the National Federation Association of Young Farmers Clubs and is the brainchild of the National Farm Research Unit and David Bolton Partners.

The aspiring young orators will fight it out in a battle, not of song, but of words on Thursday 10 June at 12.45pm in the Cereals Event Arable Conference Centre.

The panel of judges will be Tom Heap, BBC broadcaster and journalist; Christine Tacon, managing director of The Co-operative Farms, Britain’s largest farmer and a keen supporter of young farmers and David Bolton of David Bolton Associates, a business consultant to farmers and farming organisations.

The winning team will receive the Young Advocates for Agriculture Trophy and a cash prize of £500.

Commenting on the initiative, organiser Jim Williams from the National Farm Research Unit said: “Farming issues are regularly discussed in the mainstream media, too often by people who understand little of what happens on a farm or who fail to have the best interests of British farmers at heart.

“This competition will allow participating teams a wonderful opportunity to raise their profile in front of industry leaders and gain invaluable experience in developing their communication skills.”

There will be three debates, with proposing and opposing teams of two young advocates. The motions the debaters can choose from are:

• This house believes that Britain should go organic
• This house believes that that general public has a perfect right to be ignorant about farming
• This house believes that only big farms can secure a viable farming industry for Britain
• This house believes that wildlife must come second place to the imperative of food production
• This house believes that British consumers do not need to feed themselves from British farms.

All are welcome to come and hear the budding debaters and to see how tough the X Factor style judging panel are going to be.