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Herefordshire businessman hopes to dispel flat-cap farmer myth

From The Hereford Times - click here....!

A Bromyard man is attempting to dispel the myth that farmers wear flat-caps and only hold ambitions to hold up traffic.

James Manning, who helped set-up Hereford-based pizza bar Shack Revolution, says he hopes to inspire farmers of the future during an event this summer.

Mr Manning, a presenter on BBC show Harvest 2015, and Channel 4's First Time Farmers, says the public should see agriculture as an "exciting and vibrant" industry.

"I believe one of the biggest challenges we face is attracting young enthusiastic people into the industry, people who are going to take us forward into the future," he said.

"For those sorts of people to be interested in the industry we have to showcase what we do, across all sectors. I think the general public needs to see agriculture as a young, exciting and vibrant industry to be a part of."

He will be speaking during a National Sheep Association event at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern on July 27.

The NSA's Next Generation project includes an ambassador programme that selects a group of 12 young sheep farmers each year to take part in technical training and personal development.

NSA has been running the programme for three years, with more than 20 Next Generation Ambassadors expected to speak at the event.

"Industry events like this are great as they bring a lot of people together in one place, so you have a captive audience to engage with," said Mr Manning.

"The great thing about farming is that it's a passion, not just a job. It's our responsibility to try and portray that to new entrants and the wider public, so they buy into it as well.

"I've always been quite an enthusiastic person, having an open mind-set. I've been involved with the family dairy farm from a young age, then I went away to university and learnt about other aspects of the wider industry.

"Open your eyes to everything. Take on as much knowledge, even if you think it's complete rubbish, and try and understand your chosen profession to carve out a career path."

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