Encourage youngsters

I have just bought my copy of Farmer’s Weekly. There are very few ‘things’ in life which give me as great a sense of pride and belonging as your weekly editions.

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Maybe it’s because this publication has been around for longer than a lifetime and supporting an industry which is pivotal to any society’s well-being from a basic-needs level, or because I was brought up in an agricultural environment during my formative years which has left an ingrained understanding of how interesting, enlightening and rewarding agriculture and farming can be from an holistic level.

Either way, this magazine trumps all the rest on the shelves these days, in my opinion. Yes, it’s interesting reading about celebrities’ antics, endless fashion trends and which wine pairs with which food, but from a more basic point of view I like to think that without food on our tables all the rest of those ’topics’ wouldn’t be as interesting on an empty stomach. Or have I taken my appreciation a little too far?

I noticed that the October 2012 ‘Letter of the Month’ was awarded to Retief Williams (2 November, pg 8), a young chap with a passion for farming. On the same page, there was an email entitled ‘Farmer in training’ from Tyrone Eduardo de Agrela who also seems to be on the right track in following in his father’s agricultural footsteps.

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For what it’s worth, I’d like to thank you for including letters from these young enthusiasts, as it adds a different perspective to the content. It also brings hope to the farming industry because of the alarming statistic emphasised by Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in her article ‘Co-operation: key to success’ (pg 6) which outlined that the age of current farmers and entry into the industry shows an unbalanced level, with the majority of farmers falling into a much older age category.

If I may add, the views of this younger generation are rather important as they are passionately involved in an industry which determines all of our futures. A final request: would it be possible to include a few more articles on conservation matters in your publication?