Young farmers learn in Canada

Two young farmers from north Northumberland have been to Canada to learn more about agricultural practices.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29 March, 2019, 11:09
The UK delegates before Taste of Canada Dinner Gala.

Elodie Straker, from Belford, and Harry Huddart, from Lowick attended the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth conference in Edmonton.

Elodie was sponsored by the Glendale Agricultural Society (GAS) and Harry by The Royal Smithfield Club.

Both were given the unique opportunity to meet industry leaders and others in global farming, and to experience Canadian agricultural practices and the issues that face food production and farming communities across the world.

Both have a very strong interest in the future of farming.

Elodie, 22, has a degree in business management with marketing from Harper Adams University and is now living back in Northumberland.

Harry, 24, has a degree in agriculture from Newcastle University, and is an assistant farm manager for Beeswax Dyson Farms in Lincolnshire.

They first visited Lewis Farms at Edmonton, which runs a 1,000-head herd of Simmental and Angus cows and has an auction ring where they sold their own bulls.

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At the Cargill Company Factory, they witnessed large-scale and impressive production of burgers for McDonald’s in Canada, while Doef’s Greenhouses Ltd grew peppers and cucumbers.

The co-operative they are part of – Sunfresh Farms – comprises of six farming businesses which feeds into the one packing and distribution plant.

Elodie said: “I met many fascinating individuals on the pre-tour and came away feeling inspired by the farmers in Alberta. Their passion for food production and producing the highest quantity of food in a sustainable manner, with the constant challenges of modern-day agriculture, was admirable.”

The two-day Next Generation Conference, which followed, contained some real learning initiatives.

Both delegates believe they now have a more global outlook, having met others who believe in ensuring the sustainability and profitability of the industry.

Elodie said: “The hospitality we received from the Canadians was first class, they were so welcoming at every visit we were on and also at the conference.

Harry added: “Everyone there wanted to listen and to learn about improving world agriculture.”