Farmers: our industry needs young blood to survive

YOUNG blood is needed to revitalise the island’s farming industry and give it a bright future, according to farmers.

Guernsey cows

YOUNG blood is needed to revitalise the island’s farming industry and give it a bright future, according to farmers.

As the Royal Guernsey Agricultural and Horticultural Society cattle show got under way yesterday, farmers voiced concerns about the future of the industry and called for more States help to get younger people into farming.

Kevin Gaudion, 33, is on the managing committee of the RGA and was so concerned over what the future holds for the industry he set up a Facebook page. Called Help Guernsey’s Young Farmers, it highlights the plight of those who wish to get involved.

There was interest from young people in becoming a farmer, he said, but barriers prevented many from doing so.

One farmer, Ray Watts, 68, said he though farming did not have that a bleak future because he has seen a change in the age of people getting involved.

Comments for: "Farmers: our industry needs young blood to survive"

Kittycat

True!

I think there should be more of a focus on traditional local industries, such as farming, at school. It's part of our heritage after all, and should be properly understood and respected by all of us. Primary schools could run trips to dairy farms to learn about it, teenagers should be encouraged to do work experience on farms. Is there an apprenticeship scheme in place? Do farmers come to schools to talk about careers in agriculture?

I know plenty of my generation who went on to be tree surgeons or builders or whatever because they didn't want to be tied to a desk and they wanted to work outdoors. I don't think farming occurred to any of them, perhaps because they thought it was all about family run businesses and there was no room for newbies. I suspect many of them would have jumped at the chance had the opportunity presented itself.

While we're on the subject, I think we're missing a trick when it comes to tourism. The Guernsey cow is world famous, why not build a museum dedicated to it? With a tour of the Guernsey Dairy and a cafe on site selling cream teas and ice cream and local cheeses. Plenty of scope for child friendly learning and selling cuddly cows. I think it's worth a go!