Joe Powell, BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management student, writes about CLA chairman Ross Murray's recent visit to Harper Adams University:
I’d like to thank vice chancellor Dr David Llewellyn for inviting me to lunch with the CLA chairman Ross Murray.
Once again it reassures my confidence in being at Harper, as it is always at the forefront of current affairs throughout the rural scene.
Ross Murray’s outlook on Brexit, which he shared in a lecturer after the lunch, was both optimistic and realistic. His views and proposed ideas to move away from direct farm subsidy, and a shift towards an agricultural investment funding model, such as tax reliefs and investment in innovation, technology grants appear feasible.
He proposed the UK’s agricultural sector needs to become more integrated; a collaborative approach to farming where support could be provided by the pooling of equity. Looking towards joint venture farming agreements, share farming agreements.
Mr Murray recognised the need to ensure free trade with the EU, in order to ensure economic sustainability of the British Livestock sector. This view was parallel with the main findings of my final year dissertation: ‘A view of Brexit from the perspective of UK Livestock Markets’. However Mr Murray could no longer see a future for live export. Contrary to this my research identified that live export was important for UK livestock markets. Therefore, the industry should be looking to protect and promote high welfare standards throughout live export.
Overall Ross Murray’s views and ideas were practical and innovative which addressed further issues across the agricultural sector; including a lack of young entrants.
It was interesting to hear his approach to Brexit, which I felt was positive and not pessimistic in nature.