Scottish Young Farmers travel 24 hours to learn how to farm without subsidies

Back row:  James Orr (Bell Baxter ADS), James Robertson (Bell Baxter ADS), Jonathan Stewart (Durris YFC), Kevin Lawrie (Crossroads YFC), Ross Wilson (Crossroads YFC), Colin Ferguson (Machars YFC), Bruce Ingram (Undy JAC), Rachel Matheson (InverRoss YFC), John Brown (Strichen JAC). Front Row: David Lawrie (Kinross JAC), Iain Livesey (Teviotdale YFC), Catherine Sloan (Bankfoot JAC), Rebecca Dawes (SAYFC Communications & Rural Affairs Manager), Sarah Allison (Agri & Rural Affairs Chairman), Zoe Bryson (Avondale YFC), William Moir (Strichen JAC), Craig Simpson (East Lothian YFC), Gus Forbes (Nairn JAC) and Rachel MacKellar (Lower Speyside YFC). Missing: Peter Moss (East Mainland YFC)
Back row:  James Orr (Bell Baxter ADS), James Robertson (Bell Baxter ADS), Jonathan Stewart (Durris YFC), Kevin Lawrie (Crossroads YFC), Ross Wilson (Crossroads YFC), Colin Ferguson (Machars YFC), Bruce Ingram (Undy JAC), Rachel Matheson (InverRoss YFC), John Brown (Strichen JAC). Front Row: David Lawrie (Kinross JAC), Iain Livesey (Teviotdale YFC), Catherine Sloan (Bankfoot JAC), Rebecca Dawes (SAYFC Communications & Rural Affairs Manager), Sarah Allison (Agri & Rural Affairs Chairman), Zoe Bryson (Avondale YFC), William Moir (Strichen JAC), Craig Simpson (East Lothian YFC), Gus Forbes (Nairn JAC) and Rachel MacKellar (Lower Speyside YFC). Missing: Peter Moss (East Mainland YFC)
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Nineteen Young Farmers have been given the opportunity to travel to New Zealand to learn more about the countries farming operations, how they farm without subsidies and continue to record the youngest age of farmer.

The trip which will focus on the theme of succession has been organised by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC) Agri and Rural Affairs Committee, and received more than 60 applications. An independent judging panel selected individuals who would benefit from the trip personally and help impact Scottish agriculture as they share and put into practice the knowledge they gain.

Kevin Lawrie (Crossroads YFC) and James Orr (Bell Baxter ADS)

Kevin Lawrie (Crossroads YFC) and James Orr (Bell Baxter ADS)

Agri & Rural Chairman Sarah Allison commented: “Our industry is full of bright, driven and dynamic young people, they are our biggest asset and as such should be utilised. Our study tour will look at how their farming businesses are modelled to allow young people to get a start in the industry. New Zealand has some of the most dynamic succession policies in the world, and the youngest age of farmer - what can we learn from them, and did their subsidy reform play a part?”

During the two week trip in December the group plan to explore both the north and south island looking at everything from beef, sheep, dairy and arable units to abattoirs, butchers, renewables and agricultural research. There are also plans to understand more about the country’s policy decisions, how they structure their farm businesses and share farming operations.

The group will now spend the next five months fundraising and building contacts to ensure their itinerary covers as many topics as possible with AgriScot already signed up to support two of the members (Kevin Lawrie from Crossroads YFC and James Orr from Bell Baxter ADS).

Any business or individual who would like to offer support to the group can contact the associations Communications and Rural Affairs Manager Rebecca Dawes via rebecca@sayfc.org or 0131 333 2445.