Tesco Future Farmer Foundation build a network of progressive young farmers
Tesco Future Farmer Foundation build a network of progressive young farmers
 

Meet the Future Farmers

Claire Llewellyn

Water Buffalo and Sheep farmer, Staffordshire.

As soon as I heard about the Tesco Future Farmer program I immediately applied, after an interview I found out I had successfully gained a place, I was thrilled but also apprehensive. I have never been to agricultural college or university so knew I wouldn't know anyone but I knew at least we would all be like minded people.

I have been farming sheep with my partner for a number of years but I decided I needed something a bit more exciting and unusual so after a lot of research I bought some water Buffalo calves. We started with bucket calves and reared them to be sure we could manage them. We have since grown our herd to fifty animals, and last year we started milking. I am currently the only person trained by the International Buffalo Federation in the UK and have also been awarded a Henry Plumb Foundation grant, all it takes it hard work and determination.

The first two days I spent in Cheshire with TFF convinced me I had done the right thing and helped me chanel my ambitions for my future working with Buffalos. I have made contact with a very helpful, supportive Accountant through a workshop and am now also looking forward to receiving a mentor to help me move my business forward.

 I can't wait to see what the rest of the program brings when its safe to carry on! 

Ifan Huws, Poultry

Wales

 

Having graduated from Harper Adams in 2019 I am now working for a poultry integrator as a regional manager looking after contract producers in the west of the UK within the free range egg sector and I use my weekends and free time to continue managing and developing the family upland farm.

 

My career ambition is to develop a sustainable business around the current family business, making the most of the resources available as well as having a management career within the food industry.

 

My main interest is technology within animal production and large-scale sustainable farming. 

The TFFF has been very beneficial towards my professional career as well as the family farm. The supply chain visits are fantastic insight into each sector and the mentoring has been invaluable for me. The workshops definitely changed my perspective on my day to day activities allowing you to set realistic goals and objectives .The TFFF is a great group to be a part of and I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity, 

 

Sam Walton 

Beef Farmer/ Farm Diversification

Cheshire

 

I’ve always believed that the best way to learn about something is to surround yourself with people who are just as enthusiastic as you are on that subject. The TFFF is the perfect opportunity to do just that. There’s 50 people from all over the UK and ROI who have the same passion and enthusiasm as I do for farming and it’s great. I first applied for TFFF through someone recommending it to me who had been on one of the previous intakes. It sounded straight away like just the sort of thing that I could learn a great deal from, particularly the supply chain visits and the workshops. My main ambition is to take on my own farm in the future, and I knew that the skills and experiences I would gain from TFFF would help me to start off on that process of applying for a farm tenancy. My biggest passion, as well as Hereford cattle, is farm education and getting people onto farms to teach them all about what we do as farmers, and I know that this is something a lot of the other members of the group feel strongly about too. The TFFF workshops are split up across the year, and luckily for me they’re only down the road from where I live! I knew from the very start of Workshop 1 that I was really going to enjoy the 12 months I’d signed up for and I couldn’t wait to get started. I think ultimately when you have people around you with the same interests as you, you’re going to get on, and that is very much the case with TFFF. The speakers and contacts have been brilliant, as these are people who are all top in their field and they want to support you and teach you things which are invaluable for a future in farming. I’ve just been given my mentor, who is someone that I’ve been in contact with most weeks and has certainly given me confidence with my future ambitions of having my own farm. The support that is offered from not just my mentor, but my peers on the course and the team at TFFF has been incredible and I know that we’ll certainly keep in touch for many years to come.

 

Amy Mepham - Dorset

Area Field Manager - National Milk Records, Wiltshire

 

I have always been passionate about agriculture and related industries despite not coming from a farming background and found my way in through horses. I hold a degree in agriculture from the RAU in Cirencester. After completing my degree I went on to be an AI technician for Genus ABS. 

I then went on to do a harvest season and then set up my own business relief milking, calf rearing and other bits and bobs for a number of different farmers in Dorset.

Being part of the TFFF was something I’d wanted to do for while but I didn’t feel I had enough experience behind me to really make the most of it. So after spending two years in Australia and coming back last year I decided to go for it, and was fortunate enough to secure a place! 

The experience so far has been phenomenal. The workshops are so well thought out, engaging and informative. 

The opportunities to network, have access to a mentor and just be surrounded by people who are equally passionate and driven within agriculture is second to none. I have undoubtedly made friends for life. 

If you’re debating whether to apply for the next intake, don’t, just do it!

Lucy Barnes 

Pig and Arable Farmer

Bedfordshire

 

 

 

I started the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation about a year after moving back home to work on the family farm. I was employed onto the farm to run the brand new enterprise – 2,000 bed and breakfast pigs. After a year of finding my feet and learning the ropes, I decided I needed to do something on top of this to progress and develop.

 

A friend and ex-colleague of mine sent the link to the TFFF application. I read through what TFFF had to offer, and thought this was opportunity I could not miss – a chance to meet new people and hear their stories, see different aspects of the supply chain and more importantly, find ways in which I could develop myself and the farm. The workshops, so far, have been a great experience and I always leave feeling inspired and positive. They have given me the confidence to reach out and investigate what I can do to keep the farm and myself evolving. The best thing about the programme is building a network with other like-minded young farmers from all around the UK. It is great to share ideas and I now know I always have someone to turn to if I ever need them.

I would 100% recommend the TFFF to any young people out there in the agriculture industry – it provides those unique experiences which you will remember for life!

Sean Jeffreys, Carmarthenshire.

Sheep

 

I had heard many great things about the Tesco Future Farmer programme, and it has not disappointed. Although the programme has been disturbed through the Covid-19 crisis, I am very excited to get back on track with it.

Not coming from a direct farming background, I am starting off on the backfoot. But my situation has always motivated me to achieve, and I am determined not to let my city upbringing hold me back in agriculture. Currently, I run my grandparent’s ewes in Carmarthenshire. Originally it was always a pedigree flock, having been established in 1987. Since returning from Harper Adams, I am trying to increase the numbers and switching my focus to the commercial flock. Better grassland management and introducing superior genetics is an area of interest moving forward.

My day job is with Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, the levy board in Wales. My role involves working with vets, geneticists and farmers assisting the day to day running of two Red Meat Development Programme funded projects focusing on the genetic improvement of Welsh hill flocks and proactive animal health planning.

Covid-19 has restricted me from attending any supply visits yet, but the mentor experience is something that I am doing digitally. It is proving to be very beneficial experience, one that makes me glad to be a part of the TFFF.

text >>

                       Ben James

                                                                                                                                                                                                   Dairy Farmer, Tregaron 

 

 

     I was ecstatic to be accepted onto the TFFF. As a new entrant to farming these types of programs are invaluable to my development. The program has you mingling with 50 of the brightest young farmers in Britain and Ireland, picking their brains and just listening to conversations. The team at Tesco and Promar are exceptional at what they do, and want to help in any way they can. You also have industry leaders put in front of you and the opportunity to visit and grill suppliers of Tesco on their supply chain visit. At the end of this program I will have gained the skills that will launch me towards my dream of farming in my own right. I can’t recommend highly enough.

 

Beth Withers, 

Beef farmer, West Midlands

 

Not from a farming background- I studied business management at university and headed to London where I proceeded to work in the food manufacturing industry. It was only when I moved back to the midlands years later that I met my now husband, Tom, and was thrown into the farming world.

Tom is a fifth generation family farmer rearing livestock for his family's butchers in the local village. It's fair to say I have been on quite a journey from complete novice to hands-on farmer's wife and active part in the family farm. 

I moved my journey onto instagram where I started a blog called 'Tractors and Tweed' to give others an insight into the farming world and the response and support has been overwhelming. I wanted to continue my journey and was looking for the next thing when I came across the TFF programme.

I was actually on maternity leave when I applied and headed to the interview with an 8 week old baby at home, I thought I had no chance having not come from a farming background myself and being a bit out of interview practice. Well I'm so glad I did!

Tesco future farmers has been a great way for me to expand my knowledge into other areas of the industry, look at how I can carve out a future for our farm and become involved through further diversification.

 

Matt Hill

Dairy Farmer

East Sussex

 

After being away from the UK for over six years studying, working on large scale farms with 1,000 + to 3,800 cow herds and doing a bit of backpacking along the way, I have been back in the UK now for three years. Currently I have the sizable challenge of a dairy conversion from arable, and building a brand new farm and herd of 300 autumn block cows in East Sussex.

 

I was recommended the Tesco FFF by two good friends and it has been a no brainer; getting away from the farm, physically recharging and giving me more enthusiasm to return to the farm and smash out results. Working rurally means you can be quite solitary so spending two days with driven individuals from other sectors and seeing things from their side really has opened my eyes and expanded my ideas.

 

Networking with industry leaders and creating contacts is invaluable and the supply chain visits are a unique opportunity to get access to places you wouldn’t normally see.  A stand out experience was going to Dawn Fresh and seeing trout being farmed and processed. This is so far detached from what I do agriculturally and road tripping with the other TFFF was great fun too.

 

Tom Addison

Beef and Sheep Farmer

Buckinghamshire

 

After seeing the foundation advertised countless times in the press I felt the time was right to apply and get involved. It is easily the best thing I have done for my career and myself. The opportunities and access to knowledge Tesco and Promar provide is outstanding and an opportunity you will never get elsewhere.

 

Being a new entrant to agriculture and growing a sheep and beef farm from scratch, I have always felt the need to challenge myself at every opportunity and this course does exactly that. Meeting with a group of 50 like-minded progressive farmers regularly really gets your mind thinking in a different way, enthuses you with fresh ideas and builds contacts/friends for life. 

 

The supply chain visits are fantastic! They give you access to places you’d rarely have a chance to outside of the programme. You quickly realise what you can learn cross sectors in the industry. Performance recording and management decisions seen in a processing plant can soon be brought home and interpreted on farm.

 

I would recommend this course to everyone, it really has been an awesome 6 months so far and has benefited my business no end already and will continue to do so. 

Jess Williams

Beef and Sheep Farmer

Gwynedd

 

Gaining a place on the TFF Programme for 2019 was an ideal opportunity for me & perfect timing coinciding with a move into agriculture full time.

 

During the programme so far we have had business focused workshops, along with key industry speakers. There have also been optional supply chain visits, which has given me a great opportunity to learn from other industries, I’ll probably never again get the chance to visit the Weetabix factory. I’ve been able to see lots more of the UK that I haven’t seen before, and most importantly I’ve been able to make friends & contacts with the other TFFF Farmers, learning from their experiences sharing ideas & providing a support network for each other.  I am also greatful for the opportunity to have a peer and industry mentor and a training fund which has allowed me to complete a postgraduate Farm Business Management module at Aberystwyth University. This programme is an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons, network and to gain new ideas to improve your business mind-set.   

Ashley Gallagher

Dairy Farmer

Monmouthshire 

 

After being told I wouldn’t regret applying for the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation, I’m happy to report that it was a great decision. I’ve met some great people who have become friends and listened to leading industry professionals who are keen to pass on their knowledge.

 

The supply chain visits have been something else. Having access to sites and seeing how the facilities are run with high welfare and efficiencies in mind has allowed us to view the theory in practice and appreciate how constant reviews help improve a business.  Throughout the year I have taken notes and pointers which are being used to create a potential business plan of my own, to take forward to my bank manager, and then when ready will make a start with my own enterprise as a first generation farmer.

 

I’d recommend this program to anyone who is fascinated by the future of agriculture in this country and if you want to take your own skill sets and improve upon them. It has been fun filled and cannot thank the Tesco’s Agri team enough for providing me with this opportunity.

Ross Pickstock

Sheep, Beef and Arable Farmer

Shropshire

 

The Tesco Future Farmer Foundation has been an eye-opening experience. We have learnt about a variety of farming relevant skills such as business plans and negotiation training via workshops. There are great networking opportunities during the two day workshops. We have heard from inspiring industry speakers, and also had the opportunity to travel to some of the UK's largest food processors and leading farmers. It is easy to have a blinkered approach to farming and only see what is on your farm or in your agricultural sector and so opportunities to visit and learn from other sectors is invaluable. The TFFF is a great group to be a part of and I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity. I would highly recommend the programme to any young person working in agriculture.

Rob Groves

Beef and Sheep Farmer

Southsea

 

I currently manage the only farm directly owned and managed by Natural England, an NGO which has oversight of conservation schemes in England. As manager of this unique farm I was looking for ways to further my knowledge and find new avenues to market produce from a conservation based agricultural system and TFFF was a way of me achieving this.

 

TFFF has enabled me to learn more about farming business enterprises and the opportunities they can open up. Key for me in this has been the site visits, peer mentoring and industry mentoring which Tesco have arranged. All of which have opened my eyes to the world of possibilities open to me, especially the industry mentor who works in a sector of great interest to me and has definitely given me sound advice on the direction I should be taking.

 

I would wholeheartedly recommend TFFF to all young farmers out there who are looking to meet new people, hear new ideas and be progressive in what is a rapidly changing industry. 

 

Neil Stephen

Arable Farmer

Aberdeenshire

 

 

Deciding to come out of the electrical industry and return home to farm later in life was a real baptism of fire. But after 5 years, several seasons of very questionable field work, and many "choice" words from the father later, I find myself bitten by the farming bug and fully embracing the challenges that this ever changing sector presents.

My time travelling and working in other industries has taught me that you need to be constantly pushing yourself and trying new things in order to develop. So when I heard about the TFFF and the opportunities that it presented I filled out the form there and then, in the corner of a field, in an overheating John Deere.

It was an honour to be selected and placed in the company of 49 of some of the most driven, entrepreneurial and forward thinking young farmers in the country. The workshops and visits are fantastic and always leave me inspired and full of ideas to help improve my business. What you gain from Tesco’s network of industry professionals and from your fellow future farmers is truly priceless and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Alan Robinson

Dairy and Sheep Farmer

Cumbria

 

The people are what make TFFF. Coming back into the industry after time in IT and renewable energy, it helps to have people around you that want to share their experiences and develop new ideas. This is what you get, learning from your peers, industry experts and mentors alike.

 

I've really enjoyed meeting like minded individuals and having the opportunity to visit a huge range of different Tesco suppliers. Seeing the scale, precision and investment involved in producing the UK's food brings a huge amount of optimism and positivity into the discussions I have about the industry. Relating this to business focused finance and planning sessions through the workshops really drives me on with new ideas for the future.

 

 

Ruari Martin

 

 

I applied to TFFF after a recommendation from a friend and it hasn’t disappointed! I’ve really enjoyed meeting and socialising with everyone. There’s a skill set and personality within the room which makes you proud to be part of UK Ag. The best part for me is talking to everyone about their system back home and throwing ideas about. 

 

We are fortunate enough to hear from top class speakers on a range of topics with useful ideas to take home. The supply chain events give privileged access to areas that are usually off limits and the tours are full of great information. 

 

The programme has spurred me on and helped with the skills to draw together a business plan which I’m presenting to the bank to continue my journey as a first generation farmer. Fingers crossed!

 

Sam Alexander

Sheep Farmer

South Wales

 

Being a part of TFFF has meant I’ve been able to invest a great deal of time in my personal and business’ development.  During the series of two day workshops I’ve learned from and met such a diverse range of farmers and young people from within the industry, hearing about different business ventures, opportunities and the intricacies of farm enterprises which are very different to home.  We talk about everything farming, the good, the bad, the easy and the hard and its so very refreshing to know that a farmer from the other side of the UK can have the same issues as you, and perhaps they’ve already worked out the solution which is always very helpful!

 

TFF’s are very driven and entrepreneurial farmers, who aren’t afraid to go about farming in a not so conventional way, and they’ll openly share their stories and experiences, which is what I think makes this group so beneficial.  Speaking to my fellow TFFF’s is the greatest motivational tool I’ll ever need.

 

From the start Tesco and Promar really do invest heavily in us, from getting top spokespeople in the evenings and a wide range of specialist individuals to hold the workshops, to the personal training fund which enabled me to attend a 3 day negotiation course and the personal mentoring they offer.  A sheep farmer from south Wales being able to visit a Salmon farm in Scotland really isn’t something I’d ever thought I’d get the opportunity to do!!  

 

 

Gavin Jackson

Sheep & Arable Farmer/Renewable Energy Consultant

South Lanarkshire

 

Managing to secure a place on the 2019 intake for the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation was a big achievement for me and what an experience it has been so far! We're almost half way through the year and already the knowledge gained, people met and opportunities provided have been fantastic!

 

Having grown up and helping out on the family farm in Biggar, Scotland, whilst also working full time with a renewable energy consultancy has helped in giving me a broad understanding of the industry. But the workshops, presentations, supply chain visits and as importantly fellow peers on the TFFF programme has allowed me to gain so much more knowledge and understanding of the business side of things and the day to day challenges we all face in the different sectors. I really feel that after my year I will have gained a huge amount from this opportunity and will be able to use this in my future in the agricultural industry, at home on the family farm and also in general everyday life. Inspiring and an opportunity not to be missed! 

 

Tamara Pickstock

Sheep, Beef and Arable Farmer

Shropshire

 

I work within the family group of businesses, focusing primarily on business development and our store lambs/ewes/cattle enterprise. Having previously spent a lot of time in the meat industry and having recently graduated from Harper Adams with a PgD in Meat Business Management, I saw the advert for the Tesco Future Farmers Foundation and applied in the hopes of furthering my personal development and to improve my understanding across the whole of the agricultural industry.

 

The programme presents huge opportunities in terms of networking, supply chain visits, industry mentoring and industry specific education. I’ve met a wonderful group of passionate and knowledgeable young farmers, had opportunities to visit farms and processors that I would never normally be able to visit, and had some fascinating lectures on a variety of industry related topics – all of which are of huge benefit to us attending (i.e. such as business planning, taxation, and negotiation). I’m 5 months in and honestly cannot recommend the programme enough! 

 

 

George Wright

Beef Farmer

Staffordshire

 

Having joined the world of agriculture after university, working on a farm raising beef cattle, I applied to join the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation. I work in Staffordshire, on a county council farm, taking reared stock through to finishing through a mainly grazing based system.

Being a new entrant to farming it has been helpful to have the support and opportunity for new ideas that the TFFF offers. The foundation has been a brilliant way to meet other like minded people, develop networks, see different types of farming and to learn useful skills away from the day to day farming structure.  

 

Laura Knox 

Family Farmer and Marketing Manager

County Durham

 

After every TFFF workshop and supplier visit I leave feeling inspired and full of ideas for personal development and for my farming future. It really opens you up to all different farming sectors and their supply chains, sharing in depth knowledge of the market and what customers want. Over the course of the year I have gained so much knowledge and met a really friendly group of ambitious young farmers. After having worked in a completely different industry for several years I was eager to get more involved in farming and TFFF has given me the confidence to progress my future of developing the family farm. I would 100% recommend applying for TFFF as it offers such a fantastic opportunity to broaden your knowledge of the industry and meet so many industry professionals.  

 

James Bourns

Poultry Farmer

Gloucestershire

 

I am a second generation Poultry farmer working on the family farm on the edge of the Cotswolds.  Having spent the 10 years previous working ‘normal’ jobs, I returned to the farm at the ripe old age of 31 and over the next couple of years have had the place refurbished and modernised to give myself a good base to hopefully expand in the future.

 

With this is mind, I snapped at the chance of joining the Future Farmer Foundation intake this year and it’s a decision I wish I had made earlier! Meeting younger, forward thinking/like-minded farmers from all different sectors has been really inspiring and after any workshop you go home with a whole new set of knowledge which will help yourself and your business. The course has also offered mentoring opportunities as well as a vast amount of visits to various parts of the food chain. I’d recommend this course to anyone in agriculture who wants to meet some great people, grow personally and learn something new. 

 

 

Tom Bird 

Sheep and Arable Farmer

Derbyshire 

 

After returning home to the farm from agricultural college and a stint in New Zealand, I wanted to further my business knowledge and skills. I had heard what the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation was about and thought why not, what’s to lose by applying, so I filled out the application form and waited to see if I had been lucky enough to be selected.

 

Not only does the TFFF organise industry leading people to come in and run workshops, it invites speakers from all aspects of life to come and share their knowledge and experiences with us. Another great opportunity is that it gives you the chance to go on incredible once in a life time supply chain visits to some truly outstanding businesses. You come away from a TFFF workshop having spent two days with fifty passionate and enthusiastic like minded people feeling pumped and ready to take on anything farming can throw at you!

 

The TFFF is a great building block for anybody in the sector, I feel extremely honoured to be a part of it and would highly recommend applying!

 

Joe Hamer

Sheep Farmer

Shropshire

 

Although I have a farm at home that I inherited from my late farther it’s somewhat of a blank canvas, TFF has put me in a room full of young enthusiastic farmers with lots of ideas from all sectors in agriculture and has allowed me to broaden my horizons.  This is also true with the supply chain visits where I’ve gained a greater understanding of areas in which I’m interested. 

 

I work away from the farm and have two part time jobs, one is a Field Technician for the Texel Sheep Society working on R&D projects and the other is for the Welsh Mule Society.  At home I currently own 80 acres and rent a further 30 where we contract finish lambs in the winter on grass and stubble turnips.  We also run a contracting business that specialises in small paddocks and have customers in Wales, England and Scotland. The end of the year sees us selling Christmas trees from the farm.  My aspirations are to leave my farm in a better state then I inherited and to build a business that is strong enough for my daughter to join me when and if she chooses.  

 

 

Eleanor Kane

Family Farm/Self Employed 

Gloucestershire

 

Having left my office job with AHDB Dairy in early 2019 with a view to get back to a hands-on role, the TFFF programme could not have come along at a better time.

 

The programme so far has given me a better understanding of markets and the customer through the supply chain visits.  As well as increasing my knowledge of how to drive farm businesses forward, such as with our finance workshop and Tesco providing funding for me to undertake a bookkeeping course.

 

Getting to know such an interesting group of young farmers, who come from a wide range of backgrounds has really opened my eyes to what is possible within the farming sector. Now I just need to put pen to paper and come up with my own business plan. 

 

Oisin Shannon

Dairy Farm Manager

Co Waterford

 

I found being from a non-farming background that I was very limited in my knowledge of agriculture because I had always focused on dairy farming.  I applied for the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation as a way of meeting new people from all aspects of agriculture and hoped that I might pick up something from them that might come in useful in my own workplace.

 

So far on my journey through the programme I have not only learned a great deal from other people but I have made new friends along the way.

 

 

 

Amy Eggleston

Dairy Farmer

Leicestershire

 

I applied for TFFF after completing an undergraduate degree in International Business and returning from city life in London to move back home to the family farm. 

 

The foundation has given me the opportunity to learn so much about all the different aspects of running an agricultural business - as well as spending time with Tesco suppliers seeing different agricultural & food businesses operating. Additionally, the foundation has given me access to a mentor working in the industry who provides valued guidance and support.

 

Personally, I feel very fortunate to have met a group of like-minded people who I can share ideas with and learn from. The foundation has been a truly valuable experience so far and it's made even better by getting to know a great bunch of farmers from all across the UK!

 

William Holmes 

Dairy Farmer

Dorset

 

Starting to manage a dairy farm at 23 and dealing with succession in the family business straight from University left me feeling overwhelmed and relatively underskilled. Applying for, and taking part in, the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation has given me the knowledge, support and confidence to start to meet the farms goal of achieving excellence across the board.

 

The TFFF has given me a chance to meet progressive, like minded young farmers. I have been questioned and challenged on what I am doing currently and given help to improve. Knowing others are facing the same challenges as me and that I am not alone has massively helped my mental state in a challenging 2018 for agriculture.

 

 

Kim Barnett

Beef and Sheep Farmer

Wales

 

TFFF has given me the courage to diversify into game bird rearing for a local estate, to generate another income source for the business.

 

The TFFF has given me privileged opportunities to see how other areas of the industry work, and utilise the information gained. Also I am enjoying building up a network of fellow agricultural enthusiasts.

 

Gwesyn Davies

Sheep and Beef Farmer

Wales

 

As the fourth generation sheep and beef farmer on the family home farm, growing the farm business to a more sustainable position for the future is my priority. The business is 250 acre, compromising of 700 sheep and 50 grazing cattle. 

 

The Tesco Future Farmer Foundation challenges you to take a different approach to planning and organising your business. Considering aspects that you would never usually think of in the day-to-day running of the farm. When you leave the workshops you can see clearly how this can benefit and improve your farming business. It’s very easy to get caught up in the day to day running of a farm, but having met and spoken with many forward thinking and inspiring farmers whilst on the foundation, I now understand the importance of personal development for you, and your business. 

 

My time on the future farmer course has changed my prospective on my farming business, and several changes have already been put into to action with the benefits already clear to see. 

Rich Whittaker 

Poultry Farmer

Worcestershire 

 

I am married and have 1 daughter, and grew up on the farm that I manage with my dad. I wasn’t always involved in the farm and came back to it in 2010 after doing business at uni and working in London. Because of this, I felt the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation would help me develop as a farmer and also evolve the ideas for the farm that I draw on from my time outside of agriculture. It’s great being with a group of enthusiastic, like minded people on the course and having industry leaders give talks has helped provoke ideas how to take the farm forward. 

Bethan Watkins

Family Farmer/Food Technologist

Somerset

 

I applied to the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation to get a better understanding and awareness for the entire food supply chain, from farm to fork. I wanted to understand the challenges from a processor and retailers point of view and how they transpire to us as food producers; half way through the year and I’ve already learnt so much. The Tesco team are open and willing to share their knowledge and experience which is extremely beneficial.

 

The ability to meet and learn from such a diverse range of people within the industry from all backgrounds and skills sets is one of the best parts of the Foundation. We share ideas, experiences and have a number of lengthy discussions, but more importantly we help each other out and have a laugh! It’s truly fantastic experience and opportunity, and I really don’t want it to end. 

Steve Goodwin

Family Farmer

Herefordshire

 

I applied for TFFF after completing my graduate scheme (MDS) through Harper Adams. I was aware that I was about to finish a very valuable development course and started looking for the next available “training” course for my personal development. TFFF has ticked all the boxes so far. 

 

It has been incredibly refreshing to work with such enthusiastic tutors and fellow future farmers. It makes such a difference to the doom and gloom you can sometimes be exposed to in our industry.  I knew this course was for me after attending the interview day and talking with all the other interviewees. I left there with such motivation for my own work life and really hoped I would be given the opportunity to enrol in the scheme. 

Laura Hodgkins

Sheep Farmer

West Sussex

 

I recently took the decision to give up my full time marketing career to take on a tenanted farm with my husband.  We run a 2,000 head flock of New Zealand Romneys on an extensive outdoor system, predominantly for breeding stock, and we also rear calves on a contract basis. 

 

Being completely new to farming - I felt that the Foundation would be a great way to build up my knowledge within all of the different farming sectors - as well as giving me the opportunity to meet some key industry contacts, that would hopefully prove useful in moving forward with our business. 

 

The programme has not only built my confidence within farming, but it has given me such a great baseline knowledge of how all of the different sectors work within agriculture.  It has also allowed me to meet a great like minded bunch of people - that will no doubt stay in touch with after the programme has finished.

 

Rob Wickham 

Fresh Produce 

Kent

 

It is hard not to feel motivated and inspired coming away from any Tesco Future Farmer workshop or supply chain visit. The insight given on visits to industry leading companies is fantastic and the level of access would be hard to beat.  The guest speakers and access to mentors means workshop learnings are easily related to real life situations. 

 

I have met some brilliant people throughout the course of the foundation and it is great bouncing various ideas off them and vice versa. As a result of being on the foundation I have noticed improvements in my decision making, confidence and communication on the farm. I have no doubt that the things I have taken away from the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation will benefit me for my whole career. This is an amazing opportunity and I’d highly recommend giving it a go to anyone in the industry!

Matthew Oldnall

Poultry Producer

Bromsgrove

 

Agriculturally I am extremely streamlined into intensive poultry production. TFFF has aided me immensely in broadening my horizons, interacting with other farming industries. This has allowed me to fully understand the need for horizontal innovation between industries; especially between the farming industries. TFFF has allowed immense personal development both professionally and personally all whilst making amazing friends whom I believe will be lifelong friends.

James Saunders

Dairy Farmer

Sommerset

 

Having not been to university and starting my career in dairy farm management at the ripe age of 19 it soon became clear to me that I needed to continually up-skill myself. I had just completed the last workshops of a Trainee Farm Manager course when I came across the TFFF. I spoke to a few past Future Farmers and it seemed to tick all the boxes for me in terms of personal development. Even after the interviews, it became clear that the foundation would be a great opportunity to meet and interact with new parts of the supply chain, industry professionals and a group of motivated young farmers.

 

As an industry it's very easy to be surrounded by negativity and static thinking. However, a room full of Future Farmers is quite the opposite with a positive and progressive atmosphere. Regardless of the strains of day-to-day farming a workshop or supply chain visit always reinforces my drive and focuses my mind. The speakers and lecturers at the workshops are always first class and have opened my mind to a lot of personal and business development. I would recommend the foundation to anyone thinking of applying. 

Edward Backhouse

Arable Farmer

East Yorkshire

 

I farm in partnership with my mother and brother. I was emailed a link to the TFFF and thought why not apply, nothing to lose. Luckily, I must have done something right to manage to get onto the course. I really did not know what I wanted out of the course, we have a good business with diversification and no real issue that needed addressing. But I thought there were too many high-quality speakers and presenters not to give it a go.

 

I am so glad that I did apply. Every workshop I have come away and implemented something that I have picked up over the course. Then there are the supply chain visits. Being able to have a nosy around some amazing businesses and given complete honesty from them is something that I would not normally get. And finally there are the people you meet on the course, to hear about what people are doing on their farms (normally over a pint) has involved me in some very interesting conversations.

 

Doug Fleming 

Livestock and Arable

Northumberland

 

After starting my own agri-business alongside the family farm and expanding the livestock and arable enterprises as well as a holiday cottage business I found myself working harder than ever without seeing a huge benefit to be bottom line. I had many ideas and with lack of knowledge of other sectors and supply chains, I found myself lacking confidence to progress with them.

 

The knowledge and advice from the speakers and professionals is second to none, covering a wide range of topics in great detail. The course has helped me focus my mind into creating a positive, resilient business plan for the future with a clearly defined set of goals while also helping with leadership and motivation. 

 

I return home after every workshop/supply chain event with a renewed sense of positivity and enthusiasm for the future.  The other people on the course, as well as being friendly and positive, are also a great source of knowledge and everyone is very happy to share experience and ideas 

Annabelle Scott

Beef and Sheep Farmer

Scottish Borders

 

After several years working as a surveyor I wanted to get back to my farming roots and TFFF seemed like an ideal place to start. The first thing that struck me about TFFF was the positivity of all the participants and it really helped to motivate me to improve our beef and sheep unit at home and consider new ideas. One of the best things about TFFF is the opportunity to network with some of the best in the industry and see behind scenes of some of the biggest businesses, it’s a real eye opener. 

 

Natalie Martins

Mornios Contract Herdcare

Melton Mowbray

 

Having been made aware of the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation & then carried out my own research, I felt it was an opportunity not to be missed so sat down one evening and applied! With no formal agricultural college or university qualifications I felt that the Foundation offered a great deal of information to broaden my knowledge from a life & on the job educated person like myself. 

 

Working in partnership with my husband, running an award winning Relief Contract Herdcare business, I have thoroughly enjoyed the workshops of Negotiating, Leadership, Learning Styles & Personal Profiling. All of these skills I'm able to take back to my day job & develop & improve from. Furthermore, I will walk away with my eyes opened to Finance & Business Planning for longer term use in future business enterprises. 

 

 

Greg Graham

Dairy Farmer

Cumbria

Tesco Future Farmer Foundation has given me huge insight into the supply chains through agriculture, from farm to processor through to retail. Having the chance to visit farms, factories and production facilities from all aspects of agriculture, horticulture and even aquaculture has been genuinely fantastic and a huge learning opportunity I wouldn't have had otherwise.  

 

Returning after any of the workshops or supply chain events, I would feel invigorated, full of new ideas and motivation.

 

So far it has been a fantastic experience, having had the opportunity to see and learn so much, being apart of the foundation has been of huge benefit, I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

Ashley Persey

Dairy Farmer, Publican and Event Caterer

Devon

 

The Tesco Future Farmer Foundation is an incredible experience to be part of.

 

The workshop events enable you to develop skills and take a step back to look at how you can improve your business.  I have met a great group of likeminded people in all areas of agriculture and have really enjoyed the supply chain events.  These have enabled me to look behind the scenes of the production of the food that we produce, and the importance of customer relations from farm to plate, promoting animal welfare and standards of food production.

 

I have been extremely privileged to be part of the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation and would highly recommend it to anyone considering applying in the future.

 

Tom Gardner

Beef, Sheep and Arable Farmer

Kent

 

When I started on the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation I was two years back into working, and trying to find my place in the family business having completed my degree. I had been collecting “tickets” for anything and everything to try and build my CV and to be in a position to make the most of any opportunities that arose when I stumbled across the Foundation on Facebook and thought, why not!  The workshops are truly inspiring, whether it’s the amount of positivity in the room, gaining new skills or all these ideas, tips and tricks you’ve never even thought of!

 

Halfway through the programme I was approached to take on the management of a 1000ha farm in Kent. I’d spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect opportunity and it found me! The TFFF gave me the confidence in my abilities, an excellent support network and looked amazing on my CV. The supply chain visits give an excellent insight into what producers and customers want, something farmers often forget. No matter what problem you have there is someone on the course that has been through it or at least can point you in the direction of someone that has.

 

Keith Gue

Dairy Farmer

Bristol

 

By far and away the best thing about joining the Tesco Future Farmer Foundation, is being able to meet an amazing group of great people!

 

Being able to collaborate with and learn from such a diverse and progressive group makes it much more fun to learn and get ideas about how to implement changes at home.  The finance workshop in particular has helped me to get a better understanding of our own business accounts and the most recent workshop on sustainability has also helped open my eyes to potential new ways to grow the business.

 

Andrew McGregor

Dairy Farmer

South Lanarkshire

 

Tesco Future Farmer Foundation is the best opportunity I have had for learning within agriculture by far.  Whether it is from experts or from the other people on the programme there is always something new and interesting to learn and think about. 

 

Anyone wanting to create a bright future within the industry for themselves would benefit from being a part of the programme.

 

Print Print | Sitemap
© Promar International