Sheep farmer Emily now tipped for bright future

Emily Rout who has been selected to be part of the Tesco Future Farming Foundation "Future 15" an in

Emily Rout who has been selected to be part of the Tesco Future Farming Foundation "Future 15" an intensive programme that helps hone business skills among young farmers. - Credit: Archant

A young mid Norfolk farmer has been given an opportunity to hone her business skills after winning a place on Tesco's Future Foundation programme.

Emily Rout, who keeps 31 sheep at Yaxham, was selected to join the foundation's Future 15 scheme - a rigorous 12-month programme which includes tailored training and support, supply chain experience, access to mentoring and the opportunity to win an international research scholarship.

The 23-year-old, who is a manager at FarmBuyer, a subsidiary of Anglia Farmers, said: 'I feel excited and thrilled to be taking part in the Future Farmer Foundation. This is an amazing opportunity and I am eager to learn from every second. The breadth of knowledge from Tesco, Promar and the mentors is going to enable me to expand my horizons and gain a greater understanding of both agriculture and business.

'I never dreamt that I would be considered for it. I have got a sheep flock which is just my world, and this helps give me access to contacts, networking and an insight into how other businesses work.'

At their first two day training event participants assessed their own strengths and weaknesses, and attended master-classes on succession planning, entrepreneurship and strategic decision making.

Over the 12-month programme, each group of 50 young farmers will take part in business planning workshops, guiding them through the process of creating a robust business plan. They will have access to Tesco's online Producer Network, where more than 2,000 producers and suppliers already network, share best practice and ideas and access expertise from industry leaders.

Tom Hind, director of agriculture at Tesco, said: 'We are delighted to have such an enthusiastic and determined group of young farmers to get the Future Farmer Foundation off to a flying start. Their drive and passion for farming is a real inspiration and we're delighted to help them shape their business ideas and career goals over the next year.'

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The programme aims to support 100 young farmers in its first full year. The second application window for Tesco's Future Farmer Foundation is now open.