This year we’re launching our Farming Pioneer Programme, for young farmers in Co-op Food’s supply chain where we’ll be able to coach and develop these young farmers, both on the farm and through the wider supply chain too.
The programme itself will last for thirty months and our young farming pioneers will be working alongside other young farmers, where we hope they’ll make friends for life and share in each other’s successes.
These young farmers will be part of a network, where they can share their knowledge and experience and by 2018 we’ll have a total of 60 young farmers involved, all participating in different stages of the programme.
Everyone here at The Co-op is excited to find new ways to work in the field and in turn help make British agriculture stronger for the future.
But, who are our young farmers?
In Wales we have Edward and Geraint, both rugby fans and both working on their family farms after studying at University (Edward is a Aberystwyth graduate, Geraint a Swansea grad). They have both previously travelled to New Zealand, too!
From Scotland we have Dairy farmers Hamish and Richard. Hamish works with his family and 470 dairy cows but also plays rugby for local team, Stewartry RFC. Richard also works with his family and 500 heifers in between playing the bag pipes and sports.
From Northern Ireland we’ve got Aaron, Matthew and James. Aaron works with his Dad, and about 120 cows. When he’s not on the farm, he’s in the gym. Matthew’s a fan of cricket and plays in-between working on the farm with his Dad and around 700 beef cattle. James has lots of experience in farming, from rearing beef cattle, cereal farming and running a dairy herd. He farms with his Dad and Uncle, when not playing rugby.