Last month Laura Elliott, Wales YFC chairman; Dafydd Jones, Rural Affairs chairman; Cennydd Jones, Wales YFC Senior Member of the Year; Caryl Hughes, Montgomery YFC chairman and Jacob Anthony, Glamorgan YFC member travelled to The House of Commons where they attended an evidence session as witnesses in conjunction with the Welsh Affairs Committee’s inquiry into Brexit; agriculture, trade and the repatriation of powers.

A detailed discussion was held where the panel of YFC members got to put forward a next generation perspective to the committee members. Valid points were raised noting that agriculture education is fundamental to the industry and asked for more support in enhancing the public’s education in this sector.

Laura Elliott said: “We have more access than ever before to our consumers via social media and other methods but it is about getting that positive message out, being receptive to the comments of the general public outside agriculture and then using that as a stepping stone to educate them”.

Caryl Hughes noted that development of skills has also become increasingly important within the industry, farmers are benchmarking and ensuring the most efficient methods of production. “Farming is not always perceived as a professional career but it should be.”

Concerns were expressed in regards to securing a future trade deal and the possibility of introducing lower standards of food into the UK. Members also noted the importance that the agriculture policy should be set in Cardiff simply as Welsh agriculture is so diverse and “As a Meirionnydd farmer, what I need is not the same as an arable farmer in Cambridge,” said Dafydd Jones.

But despite their concerns, the panel highlighted that Brexit is considered to be a new turning point for the industry.

Cennydd Jones said: “It is important we embrace the challenges and we create opportunities out of them. The biggest threat is going to be to the Welsh lamb sector because we are so reliant on exports to European Union countries at the moment. It is vitally important that we embrace that opportunity and create new markets."

Jacob Anthony told the panel that he was very optimistic about the embracing the new opportunities and different markets that Brexit may bring. He added: "We can’t be negative and need to look at things on a global scale and not just within the EU."