A NATIONAL network of farmer discussion groups is being set up to help farmers face what has been described as the 'most significant changes since World War Two.

The UK Farmer Group Discussion Network (FGDN) has teamed up with The Farmer Network, based at Penrith, to work with existing and new grassroots farmer groups.This includes local discussion groups, agricultural societies, and other farmer groups.

Group members discuss a rolling set of topics on a quarterly basis with responses then summarised and incorporated within a newsletter sent to all farmers participating in the discussions.In time it is hoped that this may lead to exchange visits and further discussion between groups across the country

The Farmer Network, formed in the aftermath of the foot and mouth epidemic of 2001, operates two independent networks in Cumbria and The Yorkshire Dales.

Adam Day, Managing Director of The Farmer Network said: ‘Farming is integral to the rural economy and there is a period of significant change on the horizon. We are delighted to be teaming up with The University of Exeter to create a place where farmers can debate and express views regarding the future of farming and the agriculture industry more widely. These discussions are desperately needed and FGDN provides a strong and credible platform’

The UK Farmer Group Discussion Network (FGDN) was established in 2018 by the University of Exeter to kick start independent, non-political debate about how to achieve an economically and environmentally sustainable farming sector.

The aim of this national network of farmer discussion groups is to help farmers informally debate with one another across the industry, and whilst not a lobbying organisation will provide a vehicle over time for those views to be heard by policy makers

Alex Inman, founder of the FGDN at the University of Exeter described the farming community as having incredible ingenuity, adaptability and a 'can do' attitude. 'At the same time, due to the changing nature of the industry it has never been more important to share ideas, knowledge, and expertise.'

For more information contact: Carol Moffat, Farmer Co-ordinator for The Farmer Network Tel: 01539 621602 Email: Carol@thefarmernetwork.co.uk