While European agriculture continues to invest in large, capital intensive, fully specialised industrial farms, many young farmers cannot and do not want to build their future on this model. Currently more than 55% of European farmers are over the age of 55 and want to retire within the next ten years. Yet, only 7% of the conventional and 10% of the organic farmers in Europe are under the age of 35.*
There is a growing crisis in farming, as a generation of farmers grows older, with no one to take over from them when they retire. Many farming families find that their children don’t want to follow in their footsteps, so when ageing farmers stop farming, farms often cease to be used for agriculture. But as farms and farmers disappear, our food security is increasingly threatened. Fewer people have the critical skills to produce food, farmland goes out of production and countries become over-dependent on imports. The statistics above illustrate a pressing need, both to draw young people back into farming and to provide them with access to land they can farm.
Are you concerned about where the farmers of the future are going to come from? Do you feel the industry needs to do more to attract young students? Are your own children aiming for a life in the city, rather than one in the country?
If so, come to the Inspire Pavilion at Cereals 2014 and support the event’s aim to put careers in agriculture firmly on the map.
The Arable Event, Cereals 2014 takes place on 11-12 June in Cambridgeshire, UK. This year, the Inspire Pavilion is sponsored by Massey Ferguson as well as De Lacy Executive and McDonald’s. Its aim is to provide an opportunity to showcase the vast number of great career opportunities available across the industry.
Massey Ferguson’s very own Campbell Scott, Director, Sales Engineering and MF Brand Development, will be there to speak frankly and passionately about the future of farming and the support that Massey Ferguson hopes to provide for the next generation.
Not only that, Massey Ferguson will also be talking about future careers within the industry. Ben Agar, Manager, Marketing Services UK & EIRE, will be there to offer guidance and to talk about the opportunities in global careers within the agricultural sector.
There will be a full programme of seminars and workshops and some practical sessions where help will be offered with preparing CVs, preparing for a job interview, and using social media to find that all- elusive job.
Over lunchtime there will be a panel of young farmers who will tell stories to inspire new entrants, and there’s a #studentfarmer session too. This area – 4th Avenue – has a good selection of agricultural colleges promoting the courses they have on offer, and details of available apprenticeship schemes, so make sure you find your way to this part of the event.
Another first for Cereals is the new CPD trail, a great opportunity for visitors to gain up to 12 BASIS or 8 NRoSO points in a single day’s visit.
Find out more about Cereals 2014 on their website www.cerealsevent.co.uk.
*Information sourced from The Sustainable Food Trust
Written by: Joy Jelimo Chelagat, 2014 AGCO Africa Ambassador
On the 15th of January at 5:00 am in the morning I drove to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on my trip to Berlin, Germany. Just five months before I had seen a competition online for an ambassadorship opportunity. Having only a week to the deadline, I was pretty sure that my chances were slim, but I decided to apply anyway.
To my surprise, the AGCO team got in contact with me. A few Skype interviews later I was informed that I could represent Africa at the annual AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin. Two months passed by fast and I was aboard a plane heading to Germany. The trip was long and the weather was a stark difference from the sunny Nairobi climes, but the warm welcome of the team in the Adlon Hotel made me feel at home.
The day after I arrived I hit the ground running. I had a meeting with a team of AGCO people to prepare for the activities scheduled. It was only our first meeting yet they were very friendly and resourceful. I also met Sue Musunga Chuzu, who was the first AGCO Africa Ambassador and who works now as Marketing Services Specialist at AGCO in Zambia. She shared her experiences with me and gave me some presentation tips for moderating the conference.
Agriculture is Universal
One of my tasks as Africa Ambassador was to represent AGCO at the International Green Week fair. The “Grüne Woche”, as the Germans call it, is an agricultural trade show that attracts exhibitors from around the world. Together with Marco Prehn, Sahra Malin, Sue Chuzu and Philip De Leon from AGCO we talked to numerous people about what the company is doing in Africa. One thing was evident during the fair: agriculture is a global concern. Even though the visitors and exhibitors were from far flung corners of the globe, they all came together in one place for once cause: agriculture.
The night before the AGCO Africa Summit we had an exclusive dinner with the conference‘s speakers and the top brass of the AGCO team. The room was full of exceptional people who had done great things for the African continent. From the conversations we had that evening, I could tell that the summit would be full of wonderful insights. As I woke up that Monday I was fully charged for the conference.
Walking into the conference hall, the excitement was palpable. You could see crowds of people huddled together immersed in conversation. You could spot top decision makers of key sectors of the agricultural industry. As the program kicked off, I was slightly nervous but as we moved along I eased up. Each speaker rose to the podium with wonderful ideas about the improvement of the agriculture industry in Kenya and on the African continent.
The speakers and panelists talked about their activities in Africa and about what they plan to do in days to come. Robert Sichinga, Agriculture Minister of Zambia, riled the crowd when he passionately explained why solutions to African agriculture have to be African. Another topic that got the audience excited was the appeal to make agriculture “sexy” for it to attract young people. Several speakers also emphasized the issue of innovation. Thus by the end of the full-day event I was more convinced than ever that agriculture is not only the present but also the future for Africa.
Yet, my trip was not all business. I had several opportunities to shop and tour the German capital. Berlin is a beautiful city with rich history: I visited the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the Holocaust memorial. Another highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet and make friends with remarkable people from all around the globe.
All in all, this journey was an inspirational and eye-opening experience. I was able to see how small-scale innovations in the field have a global impact on food security. The importance of efficient production, transportation and distribution was also brought home. At the end of the trip I felt charged to take up my role as AGCO Africa Ambassador for the year 2014.
Yesterday we celebrated, and helped sponsor, National Ag Day 2014, the 41st anniversary of celebrating agriculture’s role in the world. Every spring, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and others join together in recognition and appreciation of the agriculture industry.
We’d like to take this time to express our deepest gratitude to the many men and women across the globe who make agriculture possible: THANK YOU!
How did you celebrate National Ag Day yesterday? We’d love to hear from you — please share your stories in the comments below.
Dairy farmers present at the 2014, Alltech Farm Innovation Series are interested in learning about nutrition analysis, agronomy and technical developments that can impact their ability to produce more and become more efficient in their dairy operations. The companies Alltech, Big Ass Solutions, AGCO and Farm Credit have partnered to bring experts from all fields to discuss the latest technology with Series participants.
AGCO National Accounts Sales Manager Russ Green discusses the AGCO’s Fuse Technologies strategy which is a commitment to customers to provide solutions that optimize, coordinate and seamlessly connect their equipment and their farm. It demonstrates that by giving growers the right tools, solutions and support, they can farm smarter. Our goal is to insure that our solutions enable producers to link machines and management for technical and agronomic decisions and actions. Examples of producer savings in performance were presented that could improve customer revenues up to $6,800 per day.
To learn more about these events and even attend one in your area this week, please visit: http://www.alltech.com/about/events/farm-innovation-series.
More than 7,250 farmers, contractors and guests from as far afield as Cornwall and Scotland travelled to the Discover AGCO show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham, on 26th and 27th February to view the extensive range of equipment from Massey Ferguson.
The largest individual manufacturer event ever held in the UK, Discover AGCO showcased $18 million worth of equipment, bringing together a complete line-up of machinery from AGCO’s leading brands including the world famous Massey Ferguson brand, along with support services provided by AGCO Parts and AGCO Finance.
Held in 15,000m² space in two halls at the NEC, Discover AGCO treated guests to a machinery show experience more akin to that found at large European exhibitions. Indeed, the event provided the opportunity for customers to see the entire Massey Ferguson lineup, from Power Generators and lawn equipment, right up to our 400 horsepower MF 8700 series and our top of the range harvesting collection. Visitors were welcomed onto the stand to talk to senior staff, Area Sales Managers and Sales Support staff. Colleagues from the Beauvais factory in France also joined us to promote the forthcoming Vision of the Future event and give support to our UK team.
The event employed more than $1 million worth of audiovisual equipment to put on a wide range of presentations, including a video tracing the company’s development and achievements from its foundation to the present day. There were also presentations by Campbell Scott, Director of Brand Development for Massey Ferguson, as well as a commentary in the centrally-positioned ‘Ultimate Dealership’. A full seminar programme, addressing farm management, agronomy and livestock issues, was fully booked by visitors before the event.
David Sleath, Director Sales UK and Ireland told us, “The indoor facilities at the NEC provided the opportunity to show our massive range of equipment to our customers in a professional space, in a business-like manner and without any distractions. As well as being able to look closely at specific machines, customers could also talk to senior executives, staff and specialists in comfort, in great detail about their specific needs and, in many cases, with their dealers at the same event,” adds Mr Sleath.
One customer, Chris Gardner, from Mill Farm Ashorne, in Warwickshire, who runs a specialist grassland and agricultural contracting business, praised the show for the choice of venue and its professional approach. “The NEC is an excellent venue – warm and dry! We found the show was well laid out and I really appreciated the way we were able to take a long, detailed look, at the equipment, without feeling we were being hassled by salesmen, there was no ‘hard sell’. But as soon as we did want extra information somebody was always available to provide what we wanted.”
Sam Mercer, Sales Director of the Reekie Group, travelled to Birmingham with two coach loads of customers from its depots at Perth, Stirling and Cupar. “It was a long way to come from Central Scotland, more than six hours travelling, but it was well worth it. It was good for our customers to see not only what Massey Ferguson has to offer but the other services and products available.”
“Our customers said the show put over a very professional image. The feedback on the way home was all positive – they found it interesting and informative and, despite the long journey, well worth the visit,” Sam told us.