Industry leaders debate the importance of ‘farming’s least recognised asset’

PUBLISHED: 06:53 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 06:53 09 February 2018

"Human capital" debate at Easton and Otley College. Pictured is BBC Farming Today presenter Anna Hill. Picture: John Nice.

John Nice

The importance of staff training and nurturing “farming’s least recognised asset” brought 50 people to an industry debate at Easton and Otley College.

"Human capital" debate at Easton and Otley College. Pictured from left: Acting college principal Jane Townsend, David Horton Fawkes, John Grange, Anna Hill, Robert England, Nicola Currie. Picture: John Nice.

The meeting at the college’s Norfolk campus was chaired by BBC Radio 4 Farming Today presenter Anna Hill, who oversaw a discussion on the value of human capital and how to get the most out of farming’s workforce.

It included contributions former Holkham estates director David Horton-Fawkes, now chief executive of Gascoyne Cecil Estates, and Robert England, director of Boxford Farms in Sudbury.

Another speaker was Nicola Currie, apprenticeship ambassador from Easton and Otley College, who said: “The way companies employ, motivate, train and look after staff is key to their future success. It sounds a simple thing to say, but the more you care for your staff and help them develop, the more successful you will be.”

Topics covered included autonomy, apprenticeships, loyalty, pay, strategy and training.

The next farmers’ meeting organised by the college and sponsored by Barclays bank will be held on February 22 and called: “Where now for our food chain”. For more information contact

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