Bringing a young voice to political debate

PARTYING into the early hours of the morning will not deter some members from attending this year’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs (ARAC) Forum to voice their opinions on the issues affecting the YFC organisation and the wider farming industry.

Entrepreneurship, regulation and making a difference in rural areas will be the key focus for ARAC, which takes place at the Pavilion Theatre and kicks off Saturday’s programme.

YFC members will enjoy the sights of Blackpool again this year.
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The forum aims to encourage Young Farmers to consider and discuss topical issues with industry experts and have their concerns and ideas listened to and recorded.

Richard Gregg from Defra will lead the ‘How can YFC members make regulation work for them?’ discussion and will address future opportunities and barriers for young people working in agriculture or associated industries.

At the same time, farming entrepreneurs Tom Rawson and John Geldard will be sharing their stories and discussing the highs and lows of running a business and some of the obstacles that prevents young people from pursuing their ambitions.

Madge Moore, national director for England within Lantra, will also be offering a political perspective on ‘Making a difference to rural areas’ and will help identify the opportunities, concerns and barriers in rural life for young people.

One of the key areas of ARAC is to promote the outcomes of each discussion and ensure ideas are acted upon.

Last year, members were urged to ‘get stuck in and use the opportunity to influence agricultural policy through Young Farmers to make their voices heard.’

That was the advice given by shadow agricultural minister Jim Paice, who added that politics were not just for ‘old farts’.

He urged members to use the combined strength of the YFC movement to make other influential members listen to their views.

In response, the NFYFC will be launching a ‘How to make a difference guide’, offering members practical advice on issues ranging from club level to industry issues at national level.

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