Posted 13 November 2017
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be on the board as there are some great training and networking opportunities."
The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has announced a new ‘Young Board’, made-up exclusively of Harper Adams University alumni.
The Young Board has been created to offer the opportunity for further progression and board-level training unique to the industry. The newly-appointed members have all been identified through previous involvement with RABDF – either through the Dairy Student or Farm Health Management Awards, or the Entrepreneurs in Dairying programme.
Rachel Beasley, Farm Services Consultant at Alltech, and BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science graduate, said: “It’s an amazing opportunity to be on the board as there are some great training and networking opportunities.
“Being on the board means we need to attend around four meetings a year. The first one was at Lye Cross Farms in Somerset."
The Young Board has secured robotic giant Lely as its sponsor and members are set to visit the company's Netherlands headquarters to observe the running of international management meetings. In addition, the board will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the latest automotive products the company has designed.
Rachel added: “We are also given corporate governance training and have been invited to sit on a board meeting at Lely in Amsterdam.
“We will be asked to do a project which could include either new technologies and uptake of these into the industry or how to get people from outside agriculture into the sector.”
Mark Brummel, regional director at Lely, says the company is delighted to be involved in a unique project designed to develop some of the industry’s brightest talent, who will be key in driving the sector forward.
Mr Brummel says: “It is imperative to offer training and experience that isn’t ordinarily available if we want to secure a sustainable future for dairy farming. We must remember it is this generation which will be responsible for advances in labour, technology, innovation and automation.”
RABDF managing director Matthew Knight says as per its manifesto, RABDF is committed to investing in the youth and is excited to see what the Board can deliver on behalf of the industry.
Mr Knight says: “Having personally met all of the candidates I can say without doubt their passion and enthusiasm for dairying is truly admirable. They are a credit to the sector and I am confident they will be key figures in the industry over the upcoming years.
“We look forward to their participation in many activities this year. Key topics such as labour, AMR and Brexit will be at the forefront of discussions and will then be applied to a self-chosen project for each of the Young Board members throughout the coming 12 months.”
Young Board member Lindsey Carnell says: “This is a real opportunity to represent young British dairy farmers. A prosperous dairy industry relies on the input and enthusiasm from the next generation, in partnership with guidance and support from those already established. I believe the Young Board will allow this development and in turn encourage more young people to consider a career in the dairy sector.”
Andrew Harrison, also on the Young Board, said he was looking forward to being involved with the initiative "as it has real potential to help drive the industry through one of its most challenging periods".
“It’s also exciting to be involved with like-minded individuals who are looking to make a difference” said Mr Harrison.