On Friday I held a Q&A for local farmers with the new Environment Secretary, Michael Gove – supported by Newark and Notts NFU. In the job for just two weeks, it gave Newark area farmers the chance to be amongst the first to question him and leave with him our local challenges and opportunities. We covered Brexit naturally, the future of farming for young people and new entrants, the importance of following the science in policy making, ensuring seasonal agricultural workers can continue to contribute, maintaining food, drink and environmental standards in new trade deals, TB testing and the particular challenges of operating (and having a livestock market) in an “edge” area, cattle movement rules and the importance of glyphosate. He took notes and I hope will reflect on our views as he begins his role at a time which will shape farming and the rural economy for many years to come.
Thanks to Sir John Starkey for hosting us at Norwood Park and for showing Michael and I around the strawberry farm.
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