Westminster Visit

Next Generation quiz the people in power

As part of a new offering for the NSA Next Generation programme, a group of enthusiastic young sheep farmers with a keen eye on agricultural policy travelled to London with NSA at the start of the new year (2020) to take part in a tour of Westminster and meeting with some key names.

Joining NSA Communications Office Katie James and NSA Policy Officer Ellie Phipps the group had the opportunity to enjoy a tour of Parliament, meet with several MP’s and civil servants within the House of Lords and discuss future farm assurance with the new Red Tractor Beef and Lamb Technical Manager.

The visit kicked off with a sit-down dinner at the prestigious Farmers Club in Whitehall. The attendees had the opportunity to quiz NSA President Lord Inglewood about life in the House of Lords, as well as Defra representatives Sian Davies and Andrew Powley over shepherds pie about their work at Defra. After dinner, the group heard more from Andrew, who joined Defra from a background of hill farming in Cumbria.

Following an interesting and insightful evening, attendees were up bright and early for an enthusiastic tour of the Houses of Parliament. This took them into both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, where they were able to learn more about the history of the palace, from the crests to the practicalities.

After the tour, the group sat down again with Lord Inglewood this time joined by a group of willing MPs and Defra representatives. The group had the opportunities to ask questions, which focused on the future of farm support and ensuring food standards were maintained in future trade agreements.

Katie says: “As always seems to be the case with any Next Generation activity we were lucky to be joined by such a knowledgeable and motivated group of young sheep farmers. All members of the group took advantage of the chance to question a group of MPs and it was encouraging to see many MPs supporting NSA’s position and recognising the importance of supporting the next generation.”

The group also met with Laura Beck, Red Tractor Beef and Lamb Technical Manager, who was interested to hear the thoughts of the group on what future farm assurance should look to cover and what the group envisioned the future of the industry to be.

Katie adds: “This was the first time such a trip has taken place for NSA Next Generation and without doubt it was a huge success. Thanks, must go to all of those involved in the various dinners, tours and discussions the group enjoyed as part of the trip with a particular thanks to NSA President Lord Inglewood who kindly sponsored our tour of the Houses of Parliament. I am confident that all attending both from the farming side and political will have taken away much to consider from the informative two days”.

The NSA Next Generation Westminster visit is planned to now be part of the new rolling to year programme of Next Generation activities. Another visit will be planned for late 2021/ early 2022 with details announced shortly before.

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