Young farmers from across Northern Ireland turned out in their droves for the Brexit debate, hosted by the YFCU at CAFRE’s Loughry College campus earlier this week.
“You could have heard a pin drop in the room, such was the intensity with which the attending young farmers listened to the presentations of the leading industry speakers taking part,” confirmed YFCU deputy president James Speers.
“And that’s saying something, given that there were 120 of them in the room. All of the speakers confirmed how important Brexit will be for young farmers, given that today’s young producers will spend all of their working lives dealing with its consequences.”
Speers said that there was a tremendous debate entered into between the speakers and the young farmers in attendance.
“A range of crucially important issues came up, including the future form of support that will be available to agriculture post Brexit and the significance of new trade deals between the UK and other trading nations around the world.
“But, fundamentally, it was recognised that Brexit represented a clean break from the past and that agriculture now had an opportunity to start afresh and work off a clean slate. All of this was recognised as being a fundamental opportunity for the industry moving forward.”
The YFCU deputy president confirmed that his organisation will be the voice of young farmers on the Brexit issue.
“There was unanimity within the room on this issue,” he stressed.
“As an organisation we have a proven track record in speaking on behalf of young farmers and we will not be found lacking in this regard, where the Brexit issue is concerned.
“Fundamentally, Brexit policies must be developed to allow young farmers play their part in a more effective manner within their industry. This is the great opportunity which now confronts young producers. And YFCU will play its role in making sure that all of this becomes reality.”
Speers also confirmed that the proceedings of the Brexit event had been recorded.
“This will allow our Executive Committee to meet before Christmas and start drafting up firm Brexit policy proposals,” he said.
“We want to keep the momentum going and so will be holding a follow up event on Monday 12th December at Greenmount campus for members only to partake in round table discussions. This is an excellent opportunity for YFCU members to have their say and help draw up a policy document for a post Brexit environment here in NI. This policy document will then be presented to government in due course.”
YFCU members wishing to attend this event MUST register their interest. Please do so by phoning 028 9037 0713 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org