26 September 2015, 15:53
Three young British scholars are to attend Agritechnica on a fully-funded scholarship thanks to an Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) award in association with the Young DLG, the youth network of the German Agricultural Society (DLG).
Robert Yardley, Nicola Blowey and Jenni Thompson all attended the OFC earlier this year as sponsored delegates, and have now been selected to attend Agritechnica as part of a collaboration between these leading UK and German agricultural institutions.
As part of this relatively new association between the DLG and the OFC, two Young DLG members, Stefan Cramm and Malte Isermeyer, attended the Oxford Farming Conference held in January earlier this year.
As well as attending the machinery exhibition, the British trio will also take part in the Young DLG annual conference, which takes place on 12 November at Agritechnica.
“The aim of the exchange is to give young people involved in British and German agriculture a networking and learning opportunity at the leading agricultural events in Germany and the UK, and for them to meet like-minded driven youngsters from other countries,” explains OFC director, Martin Davies.
“Opportunities like these at a young age can have a massive impact on future careers and personal confidence, as well as encouraging life-long networks. The OFC is firmly committed to supporting its scholars, with over 50 places at the conference every year funded by a variety of supporting organisations and charities.”
“The international aspect of Agritechnica gives our respective young members a fantastic opportunity to share their wealth of experience with each other, whilst highlighting and discussing the issues that affect agriculture not only in their own countries, but globally,” says DLG’s project manager for Young Farmers Day, Leonie Hug.
Robert Yardley will be representing Reaseheath College and the OFC at Agritechnica by giving a presentation to the Young DLG about farming in the UK, specifically highlighting farming in his region. “I am delighted to be attending this year’s Agritechnica, and to be representing the Oxford Farming Conference at such a globally important event. I hope to re-establish the connections made with DLG scholars at this year’s OFC, as well as make many more.”
Having attended the 2013 Agritechnica exhibition as a ‘normal’ visitor, Robert is particularly looking forward to seeing the ‘other side’ of the event, he adds. “Before, I was there to look at machinery and so didn’t really get the chance to interact with many people. I am hoping that as a scholar, going to the conference will allow me to interact and network with a large number of like-minded people, and ideally build life-long friendships.”
As well as attending the conference, there are also farm tours organised by the Young DLG, which will give the scholars the chance to visit and learn about German agriculture, as well as interact with German young farmers.
Robert re-entered farming in his early 20’s, having experienced several other industries and travelled to Australia and New Zealand to gain valuable agricultural experience before returning to study for an FdSc in Agriculture at Reaseheath College whilst working on a Cheshire arable farm.
“My long-term goal is to finish my degree at Reaseheath and work towards farm management in one form or another. I am looking forward to learning more about agriculture in other EU countries and in particular how they manage volatile markets.”
Nicola Blowey is a third year BSc student at Harper Adams University, Shropshire, who is currently working on a 260-cow dairy farm in Staffordshire as part of a 12-month work placement.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting other young farmers and hearing how they are involved in agriculture within their countries,” says Nicola. “It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn about global agriculture and to see how other new entrants such as myself are finding their way into the industry.”
Former Harper Adams student and trained secondary science teacher, Jenni Thompson now works for a UK farming charity and believes the opportunity will give her a chance to meet many more like-minded people with a passion for agriculture. “Agritechnica is a centre for the world’s agri business and I am really looking forward to learning more about developments in the industry from an international perspective,” she says.
“I hope to develop my network of contacts in the industry to support my current job role and I want to use this opportunity to learn how other countries encourage new entrants into the industry.”