With harvest and a busy summer fast approaching, the U30s gathered on the terrace, on what was a wonderfully warm evening, for our annual Pimms and Supper event in July, writes Under 30s member Johnny Hawking.
Following drinks, members and guests were delighted by a very seasonal three course dinner in the Eastwood Room; starting with chicken liver mousse and toasted speciality breads; a main course of spring lamb; polished off in a timely Wimbledon manner with a Kentish strawberry shortbread stack.
Our speaker for the evening was Al Brooks, Chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference, Trustee of the Addington Fund farming charity and Farmers Weekly Farm Manager of the year 2010. Al spoke about his background in agriculture, explaining how he progressed through a number of farming businesses, helping drive each to be a successful business with entrepreneurship and diversification at their heart. He stressed that young people in agriculture must not be afraid to seize any opportunities that come along.
Following a stint as Farm Manager at Waddesdon Estate, Al moved on to a new challenge in Oxfordshire, developing a very clear passion for goats and their milk. He also talked about topical issues, such as the need for younger people to be encouraged into the industry, and his belief that British agriculture has a lot to offer in a global market, and answered questions about his work, farm subsidies and the future of dairy farming.
The evening, as always, saw us progress from an after dinner drink at the Bar, to the usual U30s night-time haunt, Opal….with our Chairman ensuring we were treated to the VIP area!