Pub­lic en­gage­ment is key

Why young farm­ers have to fight their cor­ner,

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FARMING -

Where do you stay?


Do you hold any of­fice­bearer roles at Young Farm­ers?

I am club sec­re­tary and pre­vi­ously I was dis­trict sec­re­tary and chair­woman.

What’s your back­ground in agri­cul­ture?

I was brought up on my fam­ily’s mixed beef, sheep and arable farm.

What do you do for an oc­cu­pa­tion?

Pri­mary school teacher.

What sparked your in­ter­est in agri­cul­ture?

Liv­ing at home on the farm and help­ing out dur­ing busy times.

What’s the most re­ward­ing thing about work­ing in farm­ing?

I don’t work in the farm­ing in­dus­try but I love ed­u­cat­ing pupils all about farm­ing and the coun­try­side. It al­ways amazes me how dis­con­nected some chil­dren are from agri­cul­ture de­spite liv­ing in a rea­son­ably ru­ral area.

As ru­ral youth, do you think there is some­thing we should be do­ing ad­di­tion­ally or dif­fer­ently in the farm­ing sec­tor?

As an in­dus­try we could do so much more to ed­u­cate non-farm­ers about what we do and how we do it. We re­ally have to fight our cor­ner and ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren is the best place to start. Or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Royal North­ern Coun­try­side Ini­tia­tive al­ready do a great job, but we need to reach more chil­dren so to do this we need more farm­ers to help out where they can.

Where do you see the sec­tor in 10 years’ time?

I think un­less we can change the mind­set of the gen­eral pub­lic and the im­age they have of ‘mod­ern farm­ing’ then our in­dus­try is in trou­ble. We need to get the pub­lic back on side and to value what we do.

Why did you join Young Farm­ers?

I joined Mearns when I was 15. My older sisters were al­ready mem­bers and al­ways talked about how much they en­joyed Young Farm­ers and all the fun ac­tiv­i­ties they did so both them and my par­ents en­cour­aged me to go along.

What do you en­joy most about Young Farm­ers?

The so­cial life and all the var­i­ous events the clubs put on are the high­light for me. Through­out my 11 years in Young Farm­ers

I have been very ac­tive and thor­oughly en­joyed meet­ing so many peo­ple through the or­gan­i­sa­tion. I also en­joy com­pet­ing and last year was in­volved in our win­ning North Spot­lights team and us win­ning Na­tional Club of the Year.

How has Young Farm­ers im­pacted your life?

It’s made me life-long friends and im­proved my or­gan­i­sa­tion skills, con­fi­dence and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. De­vel­op­ing these skills has un­doubt­edly been help­ful in my ca­reer as a teacher. Young Farm­ers al­ways seems to be dis­cussed in job in­ter­views and it’s def­i­nitely looked on as a pos­i­tive by em­ploy­ers.

Do you have any ad­vice for some­one look­ing to join?

Speak to your lo­cal club and get in­volved. There are so many things go­ing on, I’m sure you’ll find some­thing that in­ter­ests you.

SKILLS: Teacher Lynsey Thow has been in­volved with Young Farm­ers for 11 years and cred­its it with help­ing her in sev­eral ar­eas of her life

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