next generation

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Next Generation

NFU Scotland is committed to seeing farming and crofting in Scotland grow and prosper and we believe the best way to guarantee success in the future is to invest our time in the next generation. In a time of uncertainty, it has never been more important to encourage talent and innovation within industry and we are fortunate in Scotland to have a wealth of enthusiastic individuals from a variety of backgrounds all keen to enter and succeed in farming.

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Matthew Steel
Next Generation Chair

To contact Matthew, please email lucy.mcgillivray@nfus.org.uk
NFU Scotland strives to represent the interests of all farmers and crofters across Scotland no matter their sector or background. The Union’s Next Generation Committee, led by Matthew Steel, brings together a diverse range of young farmers, new entrant farmers and crofters who meet regularly to discuss opportunities and challenges for their peers. The group is in the fortunate position where they have a presence on all NFU Scotland Commodity Committees and Regional Boards, which means the Next Gen group’s voice is present in every committee meeting held by NFU Scotland from LFA to Combinable Crops, and from Shetland to the South West. NFUS is always keen to hear from Next Generation farmers and crofters in order to support them grow and prosper to ensure Scottish Agriculture is a prosperous, sustainable and profitable sector for all.

Next Generation Newsletter

Next Generation Meetings

Next Generation Group

Making Succession a Success

Next Generation and SAYFC representatives meet with Cabinet Secretary at RHS


All the excitement of the Royal Highland Show has now settled and what a brilliant show it was! It is always a great opportunity to network and catch up with friends, and this year the Next Generation Committee had great political engagement too. 

Representatives from NFUS and SAYFC met with Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon to discuss new entrants. In attendance from NFUS was Matthew Steel (Chair of Next Gen), Ben McClymont (Vice Chair), Andrew Connon (Vice President) and myself. 



We focused on the key issues; access to funding, succession and training provision. We underlined the importance of support for new entrants, and the lack of opportunities there is to get into agriculture. 

We explained the Scottish Government need to invest in Scottish agriculture. In the case of new entrants, government need to help provide financial support, subject to relevant business plans. 

We know from our members there is an issue with inaccessible grant funding. Many grants are unattainable, as the criteria is very hard to meet and is too prescriptive. This can deter new entrants from growing and progressing their businesses. 

Training was another issue discussed, as there needs to be sufficient available funding for training, for all levels of people in the business, including CPD. It is great to have apprenticeship schemes and university education, but we also need to retain these people in the sector by providing appropriate CPD training. We also took the opportunity to explain we have responded to the Scottish Governments skills review, and how we want to see the recommendations from that review be taken forward. 

Along with SAYFC, we explained how so many young people are passionate about agriculture and want to work in the sector, but there are very limited opportunities. 

Overall, it was a fantastic meeting, and we certainly got our messages across. Mairi Gougeon is keen to engage with us further on these issues, and we look forward to keeping the line of communication open. 

Financing Future Farming Webinar

If you missed our live webinar, you can catch up and view the recording below.

‘Financing Future Farming Webinar’ hosted by the UK farming unions’ Next Generation groups and chaired by NFU Scotland’s Next Generation Chair Pete Moss.

The fantastic line up of speakers includes farmer and podcaster Will Evans; Harriet Wilson, Agriculture and Sustainable Sourcing Manager at McDonald’s UK & Ireland and Roddy McLean, Head of Agriculture at NatWest.

It will focus on the green economic recovery from COVID-19 and how this can be achieved through climate friendly agricultural practices.  It will explore how accessing green finance can support the next generation to improve business efficiency and productivity, linking to what buyers are looking for when sourcing products.

Next Generation Newsletter


To sign up to the Next Generation Newsletter please email lucy.mcgillivray@nfus.org.uk
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