Fertile Minds: Young farmer panel announced

Four of the country’s top young farmers have been confirmed as speakers at this year’s Fertile Minds conference.

Leading the young farmer panel line-up is 2012 winner of the Farmers Weekly Farmers Apprentice competition, George Brown. Not from a farming background, George went out of his way to get farming experience, working for several years on a New Zealand dairy farm. He now works as a herd manager for well-known Cumbrian dairy farmer Robert Craig.

George will talk about his route into farming and what he wants to achieve from it and his roadmap to getting there.

See also: George Eustice to set farm agenda at Fertile Minds

Next on the panel is one of only a handful of female farm managers Kate Lord, who is running Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park. She was previously assistant estates manager at Boughton Estates and studied rural enterprise and land management at Harper Adams University.

Kate will talk about how she manages a high-profile business, what influence she has in making changes and how she goes about doing that. She will also offer some thoughts on what is required for individuals running their own business.

Farmers Weekly’s Awards 2009 Young Farmer of the Year James Price has run the family’s 647ha arable farm since 2005 and was recently elected on to the HGCA board. James will talk about the impact and influence he has had on the family farm, the challenges he has encountered, what ideas he has implemented and his involvement on industry boards such as the HGCA.

Also on the panel is Rob Hodgkins, a partner in WairereUK, a sheep farming operation selling New Zealand sourced Romney sheep genetics in the south east of England. He runs 3,200 New Zealand Romney ewes and performance records more than 1,700 of them. He has completed a Nuffield Scholarship looking at New Zealand sheep genetics.

Rob will talk about the need to remain competitive with the global market and use of technology to improve production systems. He will explain how he has done this by using new genetic technology and how his Nuffield Scholarship helped inform his decisions.

If you would like to attend this year’s Fertile Minds conference taking place on 27 November at Rheged Centre, Penrith then you need to register for your free place now. Places are limited to 150 and the closing date for registration is 10 October.