The Ulster Farmers’ Union, with the support of the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster, has held the first meeting of the new Next Generation Development Forum.
UFU president Barclay Bell said that he is impressed by the calibre of the group and has high hopes for what it will achieve.
He added: “We have brought together 24 farmers, all under the age of 40, who are some of the most innovative in the industry. Our aim is to help develop their leadership, communication and business skills while encouraging them to become more involved in the Union’s activities.”
The group kicked off its first meeting by hearing about the success of a similar forum run by the NFU Cymru.
“This format has proven successful in other UK regions and we want to replicate it here. The focus of the forum will be driven by its members but we expect there will be a mixture of both business and practical sessions. The group complements our existing policy committee structure and will help to shape the UFU for future generations,” said Mr Bell.
The Union sees the forum as a tool to help identify future organisation and industry leaders. The UFU president said: “These young people are the future of our industry. We are facing uncertain times ahead and our industry needs capable young leaders. We see this as an important investment for the industry’s future.”