THE NFU has launched the Future Farmers Survey, designed to gather the views of young adults aged 17 to 26 on careers in agriculture.

The survey seeks to identify any barriers or difficulties young, British adults may face when considering a career in farming, in order to provide relevant advice and support to aspiring agricultural workers.

Huw Hopkins, who helps lead the NFU’s student and young farmer ambassador programme, said: “The NFU wants to hear from young people who have ever considered a career in agriculture, regardless of whether they are now working in farming.

“The survey takes just a few minutes to complete and will run throughout autumn 2020.

“The responses will inform our work to assist the next generation of farmers at this critical time of change for British agriculture.”

Research will be undertaken in line with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct and all information will be collected anonymously.

The survey’s inception is timely as it comes after one of the North’s leading agricultural colleges announced it is to close in July 2021.

Newton Rigg College, in Penrith, which is attended by young farmers from across the district, revealed in May that it was no longer financially viable to keep the specialist facility running.

The decision was described as a “hammer blow” for the industry by the University and College Union (UCU), with more than 100 people set to lose their jobs.

The announcement prompted widespread calls to action on a solution to save the education provider.

And earlier this month, Penrith and the Border MP, Dr Neil Hudson, whose extensive lobbying of Government was able to trigger a review of the college, reported that the strategic review of the facility was progressing into the evaluation of preliminary expressions of interest from potential bidders.