Twelve focused and ambitious individuals who work within agriculture in Wales will soon pack their suitcases and dig out their passports in readiness for an exchange visit to a farm or forestry sector business in Europe.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, announced the names of those selected to take part in this year’s Farming Connect Management Exchange programme at a special ceremony held at the Royal Welsh Show on Monday, 24 July.
Congratulating the successful individuals, the Cabinet Secretary said,
“This is a fantastic opportunity to see at first hand how other European countries handle the everyday issues and challenges that we face here in Wales. By working alongside other industry professionals, you will inevitably be introduced to new concepts and different or improved ways of working.
“You will learn about different approaches to business management and by broadening your skills, technical ability and management expertise, you will, I hope, return to put this new knowledge and expertise into practice within your own businesses. And Farming Connect will be asking you to share this knowledge through its own networks, which will in turn benefit the wider industry in Wales.
“I am delighted that this important programme, now in its second year, again attracted high calibre applications from individuals who were all able to demonstrate their commitment to professional development, and with each individual clearly keen to develop their own business competitiveness and viability.”
This year’s candidates were selected by an independent panel of judges led by Professor Wynne E. Jones OBE FRAgS, chair of the Farming Connect Strategic Advisory Board; Alun Jones, chief executive of Menter a Busnes, which delivers Farming Connect on behalf of the Welsh Government and Gethin Owen, a young farmer from Conwy who studied the ‘Charpentier concept’, a grassland management technique, in France as part of Farming Connect’s first exchange programme.
The aims of the programme are to enable both parties to identify developmental opportunities both at a personal and business level, and to facilitate the transfer and application of knowledge into innovative or advanced best practice which they can implement at home and share with the wider industry in Wales. With each exchange visit expected to take up to six weeks, those selected also have the opportunity to host a suitably trained and experienced farm or forest manager currently working in the EU at their home holding.
Successful participants will be expected to disseminate findings from their learning experience through Farming Connect’s usual communications channels and events programme.
For more detailed information on this year’s candidates and to find out where they plan to visit and what they hope to learn, click here.