The Farmers Club Charitable Trust continues to innovate – this year adopting a fresh approach to developing educators as well as stepping up its focus on leadership. Charles Abel reports.
FIVE excellent UK farming educators have been selected to receive special support from the Farmers Club Charitable Trust in 2018, with a special focus on dairying and apprenticeships.
With some common themes emerging during selection interviews the panel took the unprecedented step of calling a round-table fine-tuning exercise earlier this spring, so all five applicants could combine forces to deliver an overall package to the Club, the industry, and their students.
“It’s a case of one and one adding up to a lot more than two,” noted Club Vice-Chairman Nick Helme, who sat on the panel. “With apprenticeships, dairying, welfare and sustainable intensification bubbling up throughout the short-listed candidates it was an obvious step to call them together to see if we could make this something more than the sum of the parts.”
Selection panel chairman Prof Ian Crute CBE, former AHDB Chief Scientist, endorsed the approach. “The Trust bursary scheme aims to develop up-and-coming educators, by funding a study tour, often overseas. By working together we believe this year’s cohort will benefit from each other as well as the travels they do.”
The fine-tuning day held in the Forty Room at the Club in late April ensured any potential duplication was avoided, and more importantly helped to further develop the concepts being explored. “Our aim was to help applicants benefit each other, and it proved very worthwhile, with lots of fresh thinking emerging to deliver more focus to the projects being undertaken,” commented FCCT trustee and chair for the day Des Lambert OBE, principal of Plumpton College in East Sussex from 2003-2015.
New FCCT trustee Meryl Ward MBE, chair of AHDB Pork until March 2017, was especially keen to see how the beneficiaries could co-ordinate activities. A WhatsApp group to share experiences and pose questions during the research phase was an immediate outcome. Full reports of the studies will be available on the farmers Club website in due course, with summaries in future issues of the Journal.
Members wishing to contact any of the award winners, with questions, contacts or advice regarding their study topics, can do so via the Journal Editor e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org