Farming Associations and Organisations offer advice and support for farming communities and farmers. Farming groups can be local national and even international although here we are going to take a look at some of the farming associations in the UK who offer a range of services.
Organic Research Centre
The ORC that was established in 1980 by David Astor is the UK's foremost independent research centre covering a whole range of areas in farming. Concerned with the development of organic farming ORC are currently researching climate change, soil and biodiversity conservation along with the security of our food. The ORC runs in association with the Progressive Farming Trust which is their parent charity. ORC is located at Elm Farm in Newbury Berkshire.
Areas of Research
The ORC is researching a range of areas concerned with organic farming including Eco-Agroforestry, Plant Breeding, Resource Use and Sustainability, Crop Production, Livestock plus Food Quality and Health. The group has a superb team of researchers including Dr Bruce Pearce and Professor Martin Wolfe.
ORC hope to educate school children with visits to working farms where kids can see at first-hand how an organic farm is run while also being able to ask questions and learn within National Curriculum subjects such as Geography and Science.
The Elm Farm Site, that has been refurbished, also offers a great conference centre, an education zone and a two and a half mile farm trail that is open to the public. Along the trail there are observation platforms and areas of interest such as ditches and streams.
If you are interested in helping ORC in 2015 with regard to supporting the development of new projects ORC welcomes donations no matter how small. The organisation does get government funding but any extra funds are always helpful. Donating is facilitated at the website. Further information regarding ORC is also available at the website.
- Organic Research Centre
- Elm Farm
- Hamstead Marshall
- RG20 0HR
- Tele +44 (0)1488 658298
National Farm Research Unit
The National Farm Research Unit is an independent organisation that was established around twenty years ago. The group researches the issues that farmers consider important, while also giving farmers their say when it comes to their opinions on farming issues of any kind. Located in Suffolk the National Farm Research Unit has over eighty thousand farming members who regularly answer farming questions in order for the organisation to collate evidence and views that may be used in press releases and the media.Pure Bred Sheep Flock
Information collated by the research centre gives an accurate view of how we are farming today in terms of equipment, the size and types of farm, new technology and farming practices. All this important information is then offered to farmers by way of newsletters, while much of the information is also available at the website.
Having up to date information on what's happening in the farming industry plus what the latest trends are is vital for farmers. NFRU collects the latest news, events and announcements that affect farmers along with offering up to date weather forecasts and prices. Information offered includes
- News from DEFRA
- Market Prices
- News Regarding Grants Available
- General Farming News
Further information regarding joining NFRU is available at their website.
- National Farm Research Unit
- Debem Mill Business Centre
- Old Maltings Approach
- IP12 1BL
National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs
The NFYFC has over twenty five thousand members located all around the UK in their six hundred and forty four local clubs. Originating in Devon the club began over eighty years ago and is run by young people for children aged ten years up to twenty six years who are interested in farming activities. The group offers a whole range of opportunities to its members including travel, skills and training. Look out for Super Moo the NFYFC Mascot who attends events all over the UK. Please visit the website to see if there is an NFYFC club near you.
Competitions and Events
NFYFC attend many farming and agricultural events up and down the country. Their Annual Convention was held in Torquay in April this year with five and a half thousand young farmers attending. Further events include
- Competition Day in Staffordshire
- English Winter Fair
- Farm Skills Weekend
- The Great Yorkshire Show
- Malvern Autumn Show
Campaigning for Rural Youth
Living out in the sticks isn't easy for children as they can become isolated compared with their peers who live in the town. NFYFC are aware of this and offer social activities, education and emotional support for their young members. The group also offers a wealth of information to youngsters who may be interested in taking up farming as a career by way of training schemes and networks. Future farmers are essential for the farming community to survive and NFYFC acknowledge this through their hard work.Super Moo Getting Involved
Training schemes are another way that the group help to mould the farmers of the future. Courses such as agricultural skills, dry stone walling and meat production all feature. Further courses include
- Tenancy Training
- Sheep Shearing
- Health and Safety
- Business Start Up
- Leadership Development
Interactive workshops also help members improve their particular club in a fun and informative way, while farm safety is also a prominent part of the training offered.
Travel features heavily with the Young Farmers Clubs with trips abroad, home stays and work exchanges being just some of the exciting trips offered to members. Countries members may visit include Canada, Sweden, Uganda and New Zealand meaning participants will experience the trip of a life time while also being educated too. Further information regarding trips for 2015 is available at the website.
- National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs
- YFC Centre
- 10th Street
- Stoneleigh Park
- CV8 2LG
- Tele 02476 857 200
British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
What type of worker would benefit from joining the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists? The answer is simple! Those who work in agriculture as journalists, editors or broadcasters, photographers, marketing specialists, anyone involved in horticulture or any other type of industry connected with rural issues. The guild not only represents members in the UK but offers superb contacts worldwide with other agricultural organisations and their members.
What Do the Guild Offer for Members?
The British Guild of Agricultural Journalists offers a superb recruitment advertising service whereby all its members will have access to job adverts in their relevant sphere. Many high profile organisations have recruited new staff via the Guilds service, while the service is priced at £175.00. Training and development also features heavily with members offered many workshops that cover such subjects as photography, writing skills and broadcasting. Many companies also sponsor members in many different ways. Further information is available at the website.
Meetings are held on a regular basis nationally and regionally and are open to all the guild's members. Some of the guilds upcoming meetings include
- The Yara Journalism Awards
- Richard Keenan Award
- There is a meeting in September, at The Farmers Club London to discuss future events
- The Guild Harvest Service is held in October
A comprehensive list of the many awards the guild takes part in is available at the website.The Royal Highland Show
The Charitable Trust
The Charitable Trust is a God send for members who fall on hard times as they will endeavour to help said member, their families or dependants, in terms of financial assistance in many areas. Fund raising activities to support the Charitable Trust are ongoing. The headquarters of the guild are based in London with the address as follows
- British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
- The Farmers Club
- Whitehall Court
- Tele 020 7930 3751
FARMA: National Farmers Retail Market Association
FARMA is a cooperative of over five hundred UK businesses who band together to promote great UK produce. FARMA helps farmers, farmers markets and direct sales operatives, while the association offers advice, representation and support to all its members. Advice is offered in areas such as when wishing to start a farmers market, begin a pick your own farm scheme or when deciding to offer catering. There are a multitude of benefits when joining the organisation with further details available at the website.
FARMA offers a certification scheme that every farmers market must achieve within nine months of becoming a FARMA member. Customers should watch out for the certification award when visiting their local farmers market as this mark shows that the market has been approved of in all aspects by the experts.
FARMA Awards and Events
The FARMA awards are held every year with winners recognised as being the best in their category. Categories listed include
- The Retail Champion
- Butcher of the Year
- Restaurant of the Year
- Large Farm Shop of the Year
- Small Farm Shop of the Year
- Farmers Market of the Year
- Newcomer of the Year
A comprehensive list of FARMA registered farmers markets, shops and deli shows is available at the website. There is also up to date news regarding the next scheduled conference and trade show that offers interesting speakers, workshops and fabulous entertainment.
- Tele 01638 6767 47
DEFRA or the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs as it is known is a government department responsible for policies and regulations when it comes to the food that we eat along with rural affairs and the environment. DEFRA ensures that standards are met in all areas including sustainable and diverse farming and food industries that work to meet the needs of consumers.
Defra is responsible for the supervision of policy and regulation when it comes to
- Biodiversity Plants and Animals
- Sustainable Development and the Green Economy
- Animal Welfare
- Food Farming and Fisheries
- Pollution Control and the Environment
- Rural Issues
DEFRA is responsible for all the above in England but also works closely with Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland's devolved administrations too. Various MP's run each of the departments all with the aim of being world leading in their particular roles. DEFRA employs around ten thousand staff within their department with offices located all around the UK. Further information regarding issues that come under the DEFRA banner can be found online at the website.
The Cornish Scrumpy Company Funded under the Rural Development Programme
- Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
- Nobel House
- 17 Smith Square
- SW1P 3JR
- Tel: 020 7238 6000
Farmers just like any other businesses need to take out adequate insurance cover for their farms and also their families. NFU Mutual or the National Farmers Union Mutual offers all kinds of services and financial advice to their farming customers. The organisation does not only offer these services solely to farmers but expanded to include general business and members of the public in 1998. The company has three hundred plus offices all around the UK, while risk management services are covered by NFU Risk Management Services Limited.
NFU and Farmers
So, what services can farmers take up with the NFU? Farming Insurance is a major part of what the NFU has to offer farmers with cover offered on
- Tractors and Agricultural Vehicles
- Vintage Tractor Cover
- 4 x 4 Insurance
- Personal Insurance
- Estates Insurance
- Equine Insurance
- Professional Expenses Cover for Tenant Farmers
NFU insurance departments also deal with claims on all the above types of cover. Financial planning advice is another comprehensive service offered at NFU along with retirement options and pension advice. Why not take a look at their website where guidance on farm safety is just one of the topics covered.
Applying for Cover
Those who are interested in taking out cover with NFU will find all the relevant instructions and details at the website. Policy documents can be viewed before purchase, while arranging a quote is easy as filling in the relevant forms online is pretty simple.
- NFU Head Office
- Tiddington Road
- Stratford upon Avon
- CV37 7BJ
- Tele 01789 204 211