The importance of youngsters joining the hospitality & farming industry

We’re sixth generation farmers here at the family farm in Tarrant Rawston and are so lucky to have the next generations coming along to hopefully keep the family farm safe for future generations.

You can never be sure that the younger generation will want to farm but the importance of the future of farming is spreading the word about the fantastic career potential agriculture has to offer.

It’s not just about driving a tractor, tending the animals, or growing crops; it’s science, biology, physics, technology and so much more. As I have said many times farming, hospitality and the medical care industry all need to work together, hand in hand. We need to look after ourselves and others, as well as thinking about diversification, innovation, our carbon footprint for the future growth of agriculture and food production.

As a young teenager, I was a member of the Blandford Young Farmers Club. This movement was, and still is, the most wonderful organisation in bringing together like-minded people who love the outdoor life. They have fabulous social events, have some fun and learn along the way. It’s a joy to see it’s still thriving and it’s also a great dating agency (trust me I should know!).

I’m thrilled that I have just had two new young people join my team, one as a butcher apprentice and another as an apprentice chef. With the struggling staffing issues everywhere in the world (yes, not just here in England, it’s happening everywhere!). It was a joy to experience the younger generations wanting to come in and learn these trades, especially as both industries have seen such difficult times in recent years.

In all food-focused industries, it’s hard, dirty work, with long hours in all weathers, on your feet all day, with a smile on your face when dealing with the general public. Please remember that when you eat out in a restaurant or pop into a bar for a drink with friends.

All industries are struggling to make future investments at the moment, as everything is so uncertain. With rising costs, we all need to stay positive and be confident that we have a great future in food production here in the UK and investment in the next generation is a key part of that.

We all need food on the table to feed our families and that will never change.

The game season is well on the way this autumn. I love to see game on the menu at my restaurant. It tastes great, is wholly seasonal and super healthy so let’s enjoy eating it with all the autumn and winter vegetables available. It’s another meat that’s fantastic to cook in the slow cooker that I talked about last time in the BVM.

Back on the farm we are getting ready for winter, bringing in the young animals from the fields to protect them from the bad weather and feed them the grass that we cut back in May and June. It’s good to see that our winter crops are growing well because of the fine weather we had during early autumn.

Until next time folks, eat seasonally and locally when you can and support our British farmers and food producers as always.