Twenty early-career researchers, agronomists and farmers have visited Bayer’s Chishill Research Farm as part of the Young Innovators Forum.
Bayer is the latest member of Agri-Tech East to host the Young Innovators Forum. The Forum was first established in 2014, reflecting a desire and need to ensure greater and more effective communication between the researchers of the future of plant science and future farmers. Through a programme of events, the Young Innovators Forum encourages industry entrants to learn about each other’s priorities for the food and farming sector, working together to develop a strong network of professionals who are the future leaders of the industry.
The visit to Chishill Research Farm started with an open discussion followed by a tour of the Research Farm about what balancing profitable farming with environmental stewardship really looks like and how we strive to achieve this balance moving forward.
Coordinator of the Young Innovators Forum, Becky Dodds of Agri-Tech East is delighted by how popular the Forum has been since its creation in 2014. “When we first started the programme of events, we were unsure about how well early career researchers would engage with the local young farmers clubs, but the fact that every time we host an event we have to find a bigger venue, and lengthen the networking time, demonstrates how hungry these future leaders of our industry are for shaping the future.”
Alice Turnbull from Communications and Government Affairs at Bayer explained: “After attending the Agri-Science conference in March, which was co-hosted by the Young Innovators Forum and NIAB TAG, it was a pleasure to invite this group to our Research Farm to continue the much-needed discussions on how young people can tackle the challenges facing our industry. The growth and success of the Young Innovators Forum is a testament to the drive and enthusiasm of the next generation of food providers in the UK.”
Activities like this forms part of Bayer’s commitment to agricultural education, through its FarmEd programme, she says. “Helping young people into farming and the wider industry, and providing them with the tools to be successful is going to be critical to the future success of the industry in producing food in an affordable, safe and sustainable manner in the future.”
Other activities in Bayer’s FarmEd Programme include a global Youth Ag-Summit discussing food security, the Bayer / FACE Awards championing farmers including educational activities on their farm, and funding training of teachers on how to incorporate food and farming into their teaching programmes.
In the picture, Bayer’s head of communications Julian Little explains activities on the research farm to the Young Innovators Forum.