Experts Urge Young Farmers to See Industry Bigger Picture

It’s vitally important that young farmers ‘look beyond the farm gate and step out from behind computers’, according to leading rural experts.

Catherine Smith, Land Agent at Bell Ingram, feels young people need to see the bigger picture to make use of all opportunities within the agriculture sector.

Following her attendance at the prestigious Oxford Faming Conference (OFC), which ran from January 3-5, Catherine – a farmer’s daughter herself from Yorkshire – feels farmers need to adapt to the changing landscape.

She said: “Young people are the future of the industry. We need to have as much knowledge as possible in order to gain experience and understanding of a changing industry.

“It’s important that you look beyond your farm gate or computer and see the bigger picture so you can grow and expand both professionally and personally.

“While it is important not to always do something just because someone else is doing it, you also need to know what opportunities are available and keep up-to-date with what is happening in the industry in a wider context.

“I think we are a generation that is going to see a lot of change in the industry within our lifetime and, by broadening our knowledge, it will enable us to embrace those changes – whatever they may be.”

The Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) is an annual conference for UK farmers that takes place every year and allows the farming community to discuss and exchange ideas.

Catherine believes the event is a great way to discover how fellow farmers are preparing for the year ahead.

She continued: “The event gave me the opportunity to meet new contacts and listen to some very inspiring and engaging presentations.

“I have come back to the office with a more realistic and also positive insight into the future of the agricultural industry.

“While I am under no illusion that the next few years won’t be without their challenges, I feel much more prepared for what may be ahead. It has reminded me how fortunate I am to work in the industry.”
OFC is a charity with a remit to educate and transfer knowledge in the agricultural sector, with the mission to ‘Inform, Challenge and Inspire’. For more information on the annual conference, visit

Established 117 years ago, Bell Ingram has 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices including: farm, estate and forestry managers; chartered surveyors, estate agents, architects, planners, and building surveyors; and tourism, GIS mapping, and renewable energy specialists.

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Published on 28th February 2018