A SOUTH Yorkshire tenant farmer has been chosen to drive forwards the Future Farmers of Yorkshire, a dynamic network of professional peers, at a time when setting a positive course in his industry is vital for farming families.

Nick Grayson, aged 32, runs his own farming business alongside his wife, Carys, and steps into the role of chairman of Future Farmers of Yorkshire, a group supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, for a three-term during which the industry will undergo enormous change.

Nick and Carys have three young children and know how important it is for their business to be profitable and productive as new UK agricultural policies are introduced by the Government following Britain’s exit from the European Union.

However, a lack of clear detail about the financial impact these policies will have on farm businesses makes planning for the future challenging. At the start of this year, a phased reduction to existing EU support payments began, while emerging trade deals and the impact of the Ukraine conflict are reshaping commodity markets.

Nick said: “As British agriculture adapts to a period of immense change, it is so important to bring farmers and other industry professionals together. At Future Farmers, over the next three years, we will be doing just that, offering professional development support, invaluable training options and important networking opportunities so that we can walk together with our members through the changes we face collectively.”

The Future Farmers of Yorkshire is currently offering its membership two fully-funded places to attend the Groundswell event in Herefordshire in June where they will hear all about the latest regenerative farming techniques. Also in June, places are available for members on a one-day leadership training course at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.

Nick said: “It is so important that we, as an emerging generation of farming leaders, support one another and ensure that the UK’s agricultural industry is a viable and appealing career prospect to those who will follow us.

“Having a young family of my own really brings this message home and so I’m delighted to be appointed as chairman of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire. It’s a chance for me to play an important role in showing there is plenty of support out there for up-and-coming farming minds of the future.”

Nick’s tenanted farm near Rotherham extends to 200 acres of arable land and comprises a herd of extensively reared Aberdeen Angus cattle, sheep and pigs and, at Christmas, plenty of turkeys.

Nick is passionate about supplying quality meat locally and farming sustainably. He supplies lamb, beef and pork boxes to local customers and is the latest generation of his family to supply Christmas turkeys, an enterprise that started on the farm in 1929. All his turkeys are fed using wheat grown on the farm.

As responsible custodians of the land, Nick and Carys have created wildflower meadows to help their own bees produce honey, and have planted wildlife-friendly hedgerows to support farmland birds.

Nick succeeds Leeds-based farmer Alastair Trickett, having served as vice-chairman of the network since autumn 2020.

For more details, visit yas.co.uk/futurefarmers. To join Future Farmers, email futurefarmers@yas.co.uk or message via the group’s Twitter page at FutureFarmerYAS.