Young sheep and beef farmers join global masterclass

Two young sheep and beef farmers are on their way to a global masterclass for ‘agricultural leaders of tomorrow’.

Blenheim producer and vineyard operator Richard Laugesen and George Tatham from Masterton are part of a group of six New Zealand young farmers, invited to join a group of 40 emerging farm leaders from around the world at the first Rabobank Young Farmers Master Class.

To be held in the Netherlands in the first week of June, the gathering will bring together forward-thinking young primary producers, from a range of countries, who have been identified to be among the next generation of ‘agricultural leaders of tomorrow’.

Ben Russell, Rabobank New Zealand chief executive.Rabobank chief executive Ben Russell says it’s vital to support and develop this next generation of farmers, who face increasingly challenges in agriculture. These issues include farm succession, environmental sustainability, the increasing need for innovation and the challenges of operating in an increasingly complex and sophisticated market.

“The next generation of farmers coming through are crucially important to the future. The world will be replying on these young farmers – and those who come after them – to play a vital shared role in providing food security for a growing global population,” he says.

“Much of the success in achieving a food-secure future for the world will depend on the development of these younger farmers – their abilities to innovate, their farming skills and their capability to produce more sustainably, with less impact on the environment.”

Sessions include visits to the world-renowned Wageningen University Research food and agri-knowledge centre to learn about successful agricultural innovations, visits to various dairy establishments and farms and soil and crop research. Plus participants will learn from social media expert on the potential and significance of social and online media for the agricultural sector.

The four joining Laugesen and Tatham are Grasslands chief executive Gareth van der Heyden and dairy farmers Will Grayling (Ashburton), Jacques le Prou (New Plymouth) and Kirsten Watson (Rotorua).

Material supplied by Rabobank.

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