Boost for young farmers at event

Funding has been secured by Angus Council to provide the opportunity for 10 local young farmers to attend the Farming Scotland Conference.

The conference, held on Thursday, February 6 at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel and Spa, unites the agricultural community for a day of discussion and debate.

Forfar-based farmer 18-year-old Matthew Steel, who is currently studying at agricultural college, attended the conference last year.

He said: “I really enjoyed the Farming Scotland Conference, it made me think about what would be good for our business and I came away with some great ideas.

“It was a really good mix of speakers with representatives from all across the industry – you couldn’t get a broader spectrum. I found Allan Stevenson, former chair of the Potato Council, really interesting and it was good to get some insight into the way the industry was going.”

Matthew’s family own Craignathro Farm in Forfar, a mixed-use farm growing a range of seeds and vegetables, as well as keeping cattle and having a wind turbine on the land.

He added: “It’s good that the council is supporting young farmers – as future farmers the industry is important to us and we will be looking to build our businesses.

“This was a great chance to broaden our horizons and think about what we should be doing.”

The 2014 conference will welcome Jeremy Moody, secretary and adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV), as its keynote speaker. Delegates will also hear from Adam Bedford, policy adviser for the British Agricultural Bureau in Brussels; Martin Hamilton, fifth generation farmer from Northern Ireland, and Craig Grant, an egg farmer and previous Farmer’s Weekly Young Farmer of the Year.

To book a place call Mary Campbell on 01307 474274.