Farmers and farming are becoming more appreciated by the public and are moving up the political agenda, so the farmer-cum-entrepreneur John Geldard told delegates at the Young Farmers’ ARAC forum in Blackpool.
Falling production and a rising world population means a tipping point will be reached, with the vital importance of food supplies again becoming recognised, he said. “Sometime soon, we are going to come to a crossroads.
“You can get by without electricity, you can get by without petrol in your car – but you can’t get by without food. Any government’s first obligation is to feed its people.
“For the past two decades, us farmers have had to listen to DEFRA. Well now they are going to have to listen to us.
“Ninety percent of politicians are too young to remember anything about food shortages,” said former FW Award winner Mr Geldard.
“The knowledge of a lot of young farmers have about agriculture is way higher than most politicians.”
It is, therefore, a great time for school- and college-leavers to consider a career in agriculture, he added. “You are going to be in one of the most ‘wanted’ industries ever.
“There will be pressures and hassles – but it will be tremendously exciting.”
Tom Rawson of Clever Cow organics agreed, advising youngsters to travel to new areas to see what successful people do.
“A key skill is to be able to listen to successful people and then apply that back to your own business,” he said.
It’s also beneficial to have a spell travelling. “It really will stand out on your CV – you’ll gain experience while you’re abroad and it’ll show you’ve got the nous to do it.”
Read the rest of our coverage from the YFC agm on our special report page.