Advice event on starting in farming

Darlington and Stockton Times: SPEAKERS: John Henderson (left) and Tony Shepherd will discuss their successful share farming SPEAKERS: John Henderson (left) and Tony Shepherd will discuss their successful share farming

AN insight into getting started in farming, or changing direction, will be given at a conference in Harrogate on Thursday.

“The Farming Ladder – Getting On and Going” is at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

It has been organised by the Yorkshire Rural Support Network which is supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Kate Dale, the Network’s coordinator, said: “We’ve gathered together a group of speakers who have different stories to tell about how they became involved in the industry, and the challenges and opportunities they faced.

“We also have speakers from the industry who are actively helping others to climb what can be a difficult ladder.”

Speakers include Peter Caley and Adam Palmer from the Yorkshire Wolds who established Six Valley Lamb two years ago. They met at college and also work on their family farms.

John Henderson, Yorkshire CLA president, farms near Skipton and launched his successful share farming partnership with first-generation farmer Tony Shepherd 20 years ago.

David Edwards and John Hurst are from Co-operative Farms, one of the UK’s largest landowners. Mr Edwards manages 900 hectares of arable land near Scarborough and is the businesses farm and environment adviser.

Mr Hurst oversees the management of 15,000 acres and runs the company’s graduate training scheme.

Graham Finn is policy adviser agriculture for McCain Foods and Matt Stubbings, from Malton, is a McCain sponsored student.

Nuffield scholar Michael Blanche is a first generation farmer who spent eight years on seasonal lets before securing a ten-year tenancy near Perth.

Tom Curtis is co-author of The Land Partnership handbook – a guide to help landowners and entrepreneurs work together – and founded the social enterprise Landshare.

Stephen Wyril, national vice chairman of the Tenant Farmers Association; Dorothy Fairburn, regional director, CLA North; and Barney Kay, NFU North East regional director, will form a panel and take questions from the floor.

Tickets cost £10 and include lunch. Contact kated@yas.co.uk or telephone 07912 495604.

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