Looking ahead to farms of the future

ENTERPRISING James Long has strong opinions on the future of the farming industry, which he grew up in.James' childhood was spent on his family's livestock and dairy farm at Bury St Edmunds, but now it farms mainly arable crops like onions, potatoes and sugar beet which supplies the British Sugar factory just off the A14.

By Tracey Sparling

ENTERPRISING James Long has strong opinions on the future of the farming industry, which he grew up in.

James' childhood was spent on his family's livestock and dairy farm at Bury St Edmunds, but now it farms mainly arable crops like onions, potatoes and sugar beet which supplies the British Sugar factory just off the A14. Diversification has also happened in the form of offices being built to rent out.

Like most farms across the country, Suffolk agricultural businesses are having to be inventive when it comes to generating income.

Fresh from gaining a national diploma at a Chelmsford college, 19-year-old James has an idea to develop it further by creating a farm shop to further secure the farm's future. But there's far more at principle than just money.

The Young Farmers Club member said: “My aim is to set up a farm shop - my dad's been talking about it and I have been thinking I would like to do it, but I'm not 100 per cent sure yet!

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“I would like to promote healthy living and also let people know they don't have to buy everything from supermarkets. I haven't got anything against companies like Tesco but I do want a choice of shops to be preserved. I'm only 19 but I like the idea of older markets and in my opinion we should support British agriculture.”

He added: “I've been to Poland and Spain and seen how self sufficient they are. There's a statistic which says if the borders of Poland shut they could last a year without outside help, but if we tried that in the UK we would last about two days!”

There are eight YFC in Suffolk including branches at Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, and James has been a member for about a year.

Oscar Wilde Irish poet , novelist , dramatist and critic .>

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