Young farmers join The Co-operative’s leadership training scheme

Two young pig farmers from the south of England have secured places on a prestigious training scheme run by The Co-operative.
Charlotte Forbes from Wiltshire and John Stockings from Oxfordshire have joined the Co-op Farming Pioneers training programme, which is now in its second year and aims to develop the next generation of farmers and suppliers. It takes in 60 of the agricultural industry’s future leaders over a period of two years; equipping participants with the knowledge, business skills and personal awareness to develop resilient businesses, which will thrive in a fast-changing world.
The two young pig farmers join the rest of the 2017 Farming Pioneers intake, who all hail from farming communities from across the United Kingdom. Delegates underwent a rigorous selection process in order to earn their place on the programme. Each participant is aged between 21 and 35 years old and currently works in a farming business that is a long-term supply partner to the Co-op.
Ciara Gorst, the Co-op’s head of agriculture, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming the second intake of young farming talent. For these young people, it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where they’ll have a chance to learn from some of the agriculture industry’s leading lights, share their experiences and adopt these principles in the businesses they have a stake in. They will be exposed to some high profile challenging situations and we look forward to seeing the new group gain the range of new skills and build the contacts which will last throughout their careers – just as those in the first group are doing.”

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.