By Aimee Mahony, NFU Chief Poultry Adviser
The NFU recently led the annual Back British Farming Day celebrations, bringing together more than 100 MPs and Peers at the heart of decision making in Westminster, London. It could be said that there has never been a more pivotal time to celebrate and promote the importance of British food and farming.
It was encouraging to hear the Defra Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey say that farmers are “the bedrock of our communities, right around the countryside, but more importantly our farmers are the people who put the food on our plates”. She also said that the government was on the side of British farming, and I know there are many farmers who don’t necessarily feel or believe this to be case. Therefore, as well as promoting all things food and farming on one day of the year, it’s probably more important than ever that we continue to back British farming 365 days of the year.
Whilst discussions were ongoing in Westminster, on Back British Farming Day itself, young poultry producers on the NFU’s Poultry Industry Programme (PIP) were ending their year of training and supply chain visits with a focus on renewables and seasonal poultry production.
The two-day visit started in Norfolk at the home of the Joice family. The PIP has solid roots with the late Patrick Joice and so we were delighted to be hosted by Patrick’s family and members of the group had the chance to see the in-house hatching of eggs on a broiler farm and learn all about the on-site heat generating muck burner. The group were then treated to a run down of diversifications and renewable investments on the nearby Raynham Estate and the enthusiasm and drive of the Farm Manager was something that left a good impression on the group.
The evening was hosted by the Kelly family in Essex followed by a tour of their enterprising and award-winning business on day two and their hospitality was second to none. Huge thanks to Paul Kelly for hosting and inspiring the group and for all you do to promote seasonal turkey production. I’d like to share an extended thank you to everybody who has hosted or met the PIP members over the past 12 months. It is only as great as it is because of the collective interest amongst the industry to support the next generation.
Whilst this final event marks the end of this year’s PIP, this will not be the last we will see or hear from the twelve bright, dedicated, and professional young people that have completed the programme. Just being around them empowers you to keep pushing forwards and ensuring that there is a progressive and profitable future for them in the industry and I look forward to seeing them all flourish in whatever they go on to do.
Aged 20-35 years old and feeling inspired to make a difference in the poultry sector or wanting to push yourself outside of your comfort zone? If yes to any of the above, then we will be recruiting for the next PIP in the early part of 2024 so keep a look out on NFU online or follow @NFU_Poultry on Twitter for more details.