Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Future of farming: attracting new talent to careers in agriculture

Future of farming review sets out recommendations to attract new talent to careers in farming.

Experts in farming, business and education have yesterday published their review into the opportunities and barriers faced by people starting careers in British farming.

The future of farming review group, brought together by Farming Minister David Heath in January, has set out what actions they think are needed to attract new talent to careers in agriculture.

The group has set out the cultural change needed to enable forward-thinking entrepreneurs to thrive in an industry which is modernising, innovative and embracing new technology. The review’s recommendations include:

  • better promotion of the breadth of employment opportunities in farming;

  • more advice for farmers on succession and retirement planning;

  • better provision of affordable housing in rural areas for farmers;

  • promoting farming as a highly skilled professional career; and

  • the industry taking greater responsibility for training including business skills for new entrants.

Announcing the publication, review chairman David Fursdon said:

We have gathered views from all areas of the agricultural sector and from across the country and thank those organisations for sharing their wealth of knowledge and expertise.

We are calling for the farming industry to take more responsibility for its own future and for the Government to support them in doing so.

Farming Minister David Heath said:

There is a wealth of career options in farming and it is vital that we are able to attract the brightest and best to fill these roles. To do this we need to break down some of the misconceptions and practical barriers.

I will continue to work with leaders across farming, banking, business and education to promote jobs in farming and make it easier for new entrants to forge successful careers in the industry.

The future of farming review was established by David Heath to look at what can be done to make farming a more attractive career choice and to improve access for talented, entrepreneurial people. Over the last six months it has gathered ideas and views from those involved in farming, science and from across the farming, horticulture and food industries.

The future of farming review group includes:

  • David Fursdon (Chair) Chairman of the South West Rural and Farming Network
  • Des Lambert, Plumpton College
  • Jeremy Moody, Central Association of Agricultural Valuers
  • George Dunn, Tenant Farmers Association
  • Debbie Beaton, Farmers Weekly
  • Nick Ritblat, Chair of the Bank of England Residential
  • Ross Murray, Country Land and Business Association
  • Martin Redfearn, Barclays Business
  • Jo North, Young Farmer
  • Richard Longthorp, Agri-Skills Forum
  • Julie Robinson, Roythornes
  • Robert Law, National Farmers Union

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