Next Generation Reception Sets Out Plan for Future

NFU Scotland’s Next Generation group welcomed Mairi Gougeon MSP and RBS at their Royal Highland Show reception

NFU Scotland Next Generation Chair Colin Ferguson spoke to a packed out NFU Scotland stand at the Royal Highland Show on Thursday (20 June) where he highlighted the need for the industry to adapt to represent the diverse range of people and businesses which come under its umbrella.

The reception, which was made up of attendees from every sector and generation within the agricultural industry, also heard from Mairi Gougeon MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, and Janice Cuningham, RBS Entrepreneur Development Manager.

NFU Scotland Next Generation Chair Colin Ferguson said: “The ethos of the Next Generation committee, which covers all regions of Scotland, is to discuss and deliver solutions for the now and leave past problems behind us.

“We believe that support for young people for the industry is important, and essential to that is developing and creating opportunities so we can fix the farming ladder, allowing everyone to thrive and progress. Whether that means gaining your first farming tenancy or taking control of your family business; the Next Generation group has set out our main goals for 2019/2020 to achieve this.

“The first of which is to create more involvement with the Union through our family membership scheme, allowing all members of a farming business including farm managers to benefit and become involved with all that NFUS has to offer.

“The second is to identify mechanisms to up-skill and collaborate with partners. We, as an industry, need to work together if we are going to attract the best possible talent and that starts with creating opportunities for training and development.

“And lastly, to investigate means within policy to increase the amount of land available for let across Scotland for the next generation.

“For this we have taken a two pronged approach, the first is working with the wider Union to drive change in policy to make the letting of land more mutually beneficial to landlords and tenants alike.

“The second is the launch of our Joint Venture Hub, which behind the scenes is referred to as Tinder for farmers, a service which can match individuals looking to slow down in there farming enterprises with the next generation of Scotland’s food producers.”

NFU Scotland’s Next Generation, with Mairi Gougeon MSP, Janice Cuningham from RBS, Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC) and the Rural Youth Project, also used the Royal Highland Show to launch the ‘Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme’ tailored to agriculture.

The programme offers early stage start-up entrepreneurs a range of exciting opportunities in an intensive, eight-week online programme, and is available to anyone with a new business or anyone who is looking to start a business.

NFU Scotland were delighted to welcome both Mairi Gougeon MSP and Janice Cuningham from RBS onto their Highland Show stand to promote the programme and discuss their enthusiasm to work with the Union, and other stakeholders, in order to encourage the next generation of farmers and crofters in Scotland.  

Notes to Editors

  • A picture of Colin Ferguson is available by request from
  • A picture from the launch of the ‘Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme’ at the Royal Highland Show is available by request from 
  • Details of the Joint Venture Hub are available at


Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4059

Date Published:

News Article No.: 89/19

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