Future Of Farming Review – Peterborough Does Nothing

turnips07:42 Tuesday 9th July 2013
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[P]AUL STAINTON: The results of a Government review into the future of agriculture are unveiled at a farm near Royston today. It will say more needs to be done to promote farming as a career and support people who want to get into farming. Well our reporter Sam Edwards has been to a farm in Newborough near Peterborough with some young farmers. (OB)
SAM EDWARDS: Yes good morning Paul. I’m here at Newborough, and as I look out I can see the new build A16 in the distance, just north of Newborough where I am now on Willow Drive. It’s Lower Willow Farm, a very misty morning so far this morning, but it’s quite sunny and the mist’s starting to lift now. And as I look out I can see green fields and trees everywhere around me. It really is a beautiful day to be working outside. Two people who enjoy such a luxury, Stacey Stringer and Michael Goodliffe, the Chair and Vice Chair of Newborough Young Farmers’ Club respectively. And Stacey, if we can just start with you. There’s a Government review into farming that’s coming out today. Just explain what that is and what today is all about.
STACEY STRINGER: Yes good morning. It’s the Future of Farming Review, which is being launched today in Royston. Basically experts in farming, business and education have published the review, which has set out the cultural change that is needed to thrive within the industry. They have recognised the importance of the young farmers’ opinion, and too the importance of taking a greater responsibility for bringing new entrants into the industry. Perhaps this is something that Peterborough City Council might be very interested in, as currently they appear to be the exact opposite, in comparison to the other local authorities, for the young farmers. Hopefully the experts in the industry could set them on the right track, and help them understand the importance of agriculture and food in the local economy, as at the moment their energy park plans, on the Council farmland that is what we might require to set out on our careers, is being given priority over food production.
SAM EDWARDS: Do you as a farmer in Newborough then feel that the Council aren’t quite doing enough to meet your needs?
STACEY STRINGER: From a young farmer’s perspective, currently there’s no agricultural educational opportunities within Peterborough, other than what the Young Farmers can offer. And at present we have no support from Peterborough City Council such as funding or anything else to get us on the right track.
SAM EDWARDS: And you came into farming. You’re not from a farming background. was that a difficult transition to make?
STACEY STRINGER: It is. It’s very hard when you haven’t got a farming family. You have to work twice as hard, because you need to find somewhere where you get given the opportunity to learn the skill and develop your skill going forward. For myself, I’ve had to find myself a career in agriculture, not necessarily direct on a farm any more. But going forward I would like to get into farming more. (STUDIO)
PAUL STAINTON: Sam Edwards there in Newborough this morning, with a couple of farmers.