Lincolnshire Rural Support Network

Investing In Volunteers

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LRSN at the Lincolnshire Show

It was a busy couple of days at the Lincolnshire Show (21st and 22nd June) for us here at LRSN. We are very fortunate to be offered a "home" in the NFU marquee which is always so beautifully decorated and well attended throughout the two days by many of our friends and supporters, giving us a great opportunity to catch up on everyone's news and progress within the industry.

Minette Batters, the NFU Deputy President, visited the NFU marquee and spoke to a full audience on Wednesday about the way the NFU is supporting British farmers going forward with the Brexit talks, looking for assurances that the Government acknowledge Lincolnshire’s weight  as a major player in the country's food production. Minette urged Lincolnshire's farmers to voice their concerns so the government can support British farm businesses and reform the agricultural sector into a profitable and sustainable market. Following Minette's presentation Minty Willoughby, the former Lincolnshire NFU County Chairman, presented cheques of £1500 each to LRSN and RABI following her fundraising throughout her time as chairman, we thank her for all her hard work and for supporting LRSN in this way.

On Thursday George Eustace, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), arrived at the show and addressed farmers in the NFU marquee. He recognises Lincolnshire’s farming industry is a powerhouse for the country’s farming industry and can help influence improved policies post Brexit. Mr Eustice believes it is time to learn from the past and agree new schemes that will assist farm husbandry. He hopes by working closely with organisations, such as the NFU, will help farmers manage and mitigate risk and allow them to operate under less complicated rules.

We held a breakfast meeting on Thursday for all our supporters and volunteers, which was kindly hosted in the Brown and Co marquee. Over 60 guests met over bacon buns, tea and coffee, and listened to Alison Twiddy talk about LRSN's investment in our volunteers, young people in agriculture and our valuable partners who support our work. Our guest speaker, Philip Wynn, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Farmers, then spoke entertainingly about his year in the post and, on a more serious note, his support for organisations, such as LRSN, that help support the agricultural industry when people face tough times, the importance of creating an exciting future in agriculture that encourages young people to be engaged in farming and a national initiative to help support those with mental health issues in agriculture. Philip, along with Lady Neville, then presented a cheque to LRSN for the sum of £6560 raised from a photographic exhibition they held in December that mapped the changes in agriculture over the last 20 years in Lincolnshire. A further cheque donation of £1487 was presented by Ambrose Fowler, President of Brigg Rotary Club, to LRSN following his 100 mile bike ride, completing Hadrian’s Wall Cycle Way, despite suffering a bad back and falling off during the ride! Thank you to Philip, Lady Neville and Ambrose for dedicating their time and energies to supporting LRSN.

The Lincolnshire Agricultural Society organised an MP's visit on Thursday where the future of farming was the focus of this year’s Lincolnshire Show. LRSN was delighted to be part of the initiative to meet MPs and discuss the impact of Brexit on our work now and in the future. We met Douglas Hogg, a former Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Nic Dakin MP and Nottingham MP Mark Spence who all wanted to know what services we provide for the farming community, if we anticipate our work to be affected by the Brexit vote and what the challenges will be for the future of Lincolnshire's farmers. It is reassuring to know that Lincolnshire has been recognised nationally and has been asked to help shape its agricultural future and LRSN is very pleased to be able to contribute to this debate in support of our industry.

In the afternoon on Thursday we attended a Harvest Festival meeting to shape the next County Harvest Festival which is to be held on the 15th October at 3pm at Lincoln Cathedral.

So, overall a busy but very enjoyable show. We enjoyed meeting so many friends and supporters and look forward to helping Lincolnshire's fantastic agricultural community over the next 12 months. We feel truly blessed to have such great support in the County and thank everyone for their endorsement of our work.