The 'New Faces For Farming' campaign is counting down to a special announcement. New partners - including globally-famous brands - will be revealed over the coming weeks.
Since its launch in July 2022, the initiative has welcomed an outpouring of support, as the public, the farming sector and businesses jump to support its core goal - increasing diversity within agriculture.
Food production is a multi-billion-pound sector, yet is one of the least diverse industries in the UK.
Campaign founders, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, creator of the Black Farmer brand, and Writtle University College in Essex have been looking beyond traditional farming circles to offer young people the chance to learn more about farming careers.
Wilfred, who was awarded an MBE for Services to Farming in 2020, said: "Many young people interested in food, farming and agriculture do not know where to go to explore and develop their interest. This scheme is the first step in bringing about much needed change."
"When I was a child growing up in inner city Birmingham, my dream was to be a farmer but as someone from a non-traditional farming background, it was impossible to get information on how or where to get involved. What I want is for initiatives like this to be run year-round throughout the country and for farming to be taken seriously as a real career option."
If you, or someone you know, is aged 16 to 18 (in Year 11 or 12), there's an exciting new way to learn about agriculture. Apply now for an activity -packed residential weekend.
Up to 20 places are available. Plans for the weekend will be bigger and better than ever, having moved from its original October date to the end of March to offer even more opportunities.
The campaign's first step is an activity-packed residential weekend for young people aged 16-18 (School Years 11 and 12). The event, which takes place on 31st March to 2nd April, will offer a taste of practical farming experiences, university life and social activities.
The farmers of the future will spend time with spring lambs, learn about livestock and receive expert career advice from a wide range of speakers.
This will be the first step in an ongoing programme, offering future farmers access to mentors and professional support.
Writtle University College's Vice Chancellor, Professor Tim Middleton said: "We have been delighted by the level of support we have received. Agriculture should be a sector that welcomes everyone and our residential weekend marks the first of a series of measures aimed at widening access to this rewarding industry."
To apply for the New Faces For Farming initative go to writtle.ac.uk/new-faces-for-farming.