National debating competition for young farmers

Young agriculturalists will debate the future of the food and farming industry at a national debating competition held in London.

The Young Advocates for Agriculture competition will take place on 6 October and is designed to help younger farmers improve their communication skills while giving them an opportunity to put their views across to industry leaders.

Each debating team will be made up of two people who will be supplied with a motion to prepare before the event.

Motions this year include: “This house believes that global free trade is good for British Farming” and “This house believes that wildlife must come second place to the imperative for food production.”

Colleges who have put forward a team include Newcastle University, the Royal Agricultural College, Reading University, Aberystwyth University, Easton College, and Bishop Burton College. They will be joined by a team from the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs.

Their contributions will be judged by a panel which includes RASE chief executive Denis Chamberlain and Simon Walters who is political editor of the Mail on Sunday.

Mr Chamberlain said: “I am delighted to be part of an initiative that encourages young people from our industry to speak to the nation.

“The farming industry is an important part of our heritage and the views of our future agriculturalists on issues like sustainability and free global trade, and their impact on the industry, should become part of the broader political debate.”

The winning team will receive the Young Advocates for Agriculture Trophy, a cash prize and a days’ media training with BBC reporter Tom Heap.