Fourteen farmers have beaten off stiff competition from more than 100 applicants to join the NFU for the third year of its successful Student & Young Farmer Ambassador Programme.
The new group of ambitious students, farmers and agricultural workers will work with the NFU to represent the future of British farming over the next 12 months, both within the industry and to the wider public. Amid increased input costs, potential new trade deals, issues with access to labour and changes in terms of agriculture policy following the Agriculture Act 2020, this means that this new cohort is set to play a vital role in representing the sector at a very crucial time for British farming.
The NFU’s Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors for 2022 are:
- Edward Lord, West Midlands – Aberystwyth University student and supports his dad’s dairy contract farming business
- Bizza Walters, West Midlands – from a mixed family farm and owns her own flock, heavily involved in the Young Farmers Club (YFC)
- Rebecca Wilson, North East – family livestock farmer, presents Boots and Heels farming podcast
- Jessica Langton, East Midlands – dairy farmer, NFU dairy board appointee and is studying sustainable agriculture at university
- Gareth Staples-Jones, North West – new entrant farmer and already an NFU Farmer & Grower member
- Hannah Buisman, East Anglia – from a family arable farm with viticulture diversification, and launched her own a ‘Spot the Crop’ campaign
- Emily Brown, East Anglia – Harper Adams Students’ Union (SU) President, supports her family farm and farm shop and is an Agrespect campaigner
- Thomas Saunders, East Anglia – Harper Adams student, responsible for his YFC’s social media, and helps run campaigns such as Movember and FebruDairy
- Mike Wilkins, South West – mixed farm manager and former chair of Royal Agricultural University SU
- Sophie Bould Lynch, South West – Red Tractor auditor and fluent British Sign Language speaker
- Dan Hawes, South East – manager on a soft fruit farm
- Erin Fflur Mcnaught, NFU Cymru – family sheep farmer and award-winning sheep dog handler
- Mary Raymond, NFU Cymru – livestock farmer and University of Reading agri-business student
- Sian Eleri Davies, NFU Cymru – NFU Cymru Next Gen Forum member who has recently diversified into broilers
Welcoming the 2022 cohort of Ambassadors, NFU President Minette Batters said: “Huge congratulations to this years’ successful candidates. Over the past two years, our Student & Young Farmer Ambassadors have been some of the most integral people within the NFU and the wider farming community.
“With the public perception of British farming at an all-time high, it’s never been more important for farmers to tell their story. I look forward to working with this new group of young people to showcase the vital role farming plays not only producing our food, protecting and enhancing our environment, and rearing livestock to world-leading standards, but with a clear focus for British agriculture to be net zero by 2040.
“The success of the programme is clear with more than 100 enthusiastic young people applying to be Ambassadors. There’s a brilliant range of agricultural roles represented by this group which is really exciting. From telling the fantastic story of British farming and sharing their own inspiring journeys, to working to further improve our industry, the next 12 months will be incredibly interesting. I can’t wait to see what mark this cohort will make and what we can achieve together.”