Industry Experts Support Farmstock Futures Talented New Generation
Page Image

Aimed at giving a voice to the next generation, H&H Group PLC hold an interactive knowledge transfer event for participants of its Farmstock Futures programme.

H&H Group PLC recently held its first Farmstock Futures Gathering after it launched in March 2020. The event, held in Carlisle, brought together the Farmstock Futures Champions to hear from key industry figures who delivered thought-provoking presentations. This was an interactive and informative day which focussed on the climate crisis, technology, education, mental health, and future challenges.

The Farmstock Futures programme is the brainchild of H&H Group CEO, Richard Rankin, who, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, identified the need to gain insight from the next generation in terms of how they see the industry, and nurture the talent of those who will lead the industry in the future. Farmstock Futures was launched with the aim of being the Agricultural voice for the new generation. A dedicated website has also been set up, with a forum for members to discuss topics as a group or via private messages.

The programme began with a welcome from Richard who set the context for the day and introduced the team involved, including H&H’s very own Laura Miller and Glyn Lucas. Followed by Dave Clarkson and Sue Howorth from The Family Business Network who presented a summary of the research that was undertaken with the Farmstock Futures members. The group then heard from experts in their field, speakers Steven McLean, Head of Agriculture & Fisheries for Marks & Spencer, Wendy Hewitson, AgriTech Programme Manager for Barclays Eagle Labs, and Kim Howard from Brades Farm, Lune Valley Dairy. The day culminated with a tour of the H&H facilities.

Commenting on the gathering, Richard Rankin, CEO for H&H Group said: “It was fantastic to get together with the group of talented and progressive individuals who are involved with the Farmstock Futures programme. The feedback we have received has been fantastic and it’s great to be able to offer such talented and aspirational young people a platform to network and establish themselves.”

Alongside the services of The Family Business Network, individuals were selected to become champions for this unique agricultural industry programme from across the UK and Ireland.  Its overall aim is to give them space and a platform to network, explore ideas and discuss the future of the farming industry, and forge pathways for themselves within the industry.

Giving feedback on the workshop, Richard Bostock, Key Account for Genus PLC, who is taking part in the programme, said: “It was an incredibly informative day, I very much enjoyed listening to the keynote speakers and to hear their thoughts on the challenges the industry is currently facing. A particular highlight of the day for me, was being able to spend some time brainstorming with my peers. It was really good to listen to different perspectives and discuss potential solutions.

“Seeing Farmstock Futures coming to fruition is really exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will come from it.”

Keen to ensure the voices of the new generation are heard, H&H will expand on this group with further cohorts so they can lobby decision-makers and speak on behalf of the new generation to influence the Agricultural sector on issues that matter to them. This means meeting the challenges of the climate crisis, enhancing technology tools, and promoting continuous professional learning.