Future Countryside 2024 Conference

SEM’s Founder/CEO attended the Future Countryside 2024 conference at Syon House, London on June 4th.

The conference was about bringing ambition and energy to rural policy under an overall theme of “A Countryside for All”, hosted by the Duke of Northumberland with a keynote speech delivered by the Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Steve Reed MP. Other speakers include the Rt Hon Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Maxwell Ayamba & Steve Reed, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment
Maxwell Ayamba BEM and Steve Reed, Shadow Secretary for the Environment

Themed ‘A Countryside for All’, it was attended by hundreds of environmental professionals and farmers across the country with participants tasked to look ahead and think about what will be needed to make the countryside a better place for nature and for people from all backgrounds over the next decade.

Participants explored how we can navigate to a positive rural future for everyone – urban and rural alike. Nick Herbert, Co-Founder of Future Countryside said, “the conference provides an opportunity for the two political parties to share with delegates their environmental manifestos leading to the General Elections on July 4th.

Maxwell Ayamba & the Duke of Northumberland
Maxwell Ayamba BEM with Duke of Northumberland

Maxwell Ayamba said, what was great about the conference was the fact that Flavian Obiero, a young Black Farmer of Tynefield Farm was among other white farmers to speak to delegates about his experience as a Black Farmer in rural England.

Mr Obiero, originally from Kenya in East Africa started farming in the UK as an apprentice aged 19. Mr Obiero’s hard work impressed the owner of the Farm where he did his apprenticeship which led to being given a portion of land where he now rears pigs and other livestock. He is now considered one of the successful young Black farmers in the country who visits youth groups and schools speaking to minoritised young people to encourage them to pursue a career in farming.

In his presentation, Mr Obiero told delegates the need for the Farming industry to create more opportunities for interested young people from minoritised communities to pursue a career in farming. He sees himself as a good example of how with the right support interested Black young people can succeed in the farming sector.

Flavian Obiero, a young Black Farmer of Tynefield Farm
Flavian Obiero, a young Black Farmer of Tynefield Farm

Maxwell agrees with Mr Obiero’s plea, noting how the Farming Industry is the least diverse sector in the country. It was therefore very inspiring to see a young Black Farmer given the privilege to speak on the need for diversification of the Farming Industry at such an exclusive event attended entirely by a white audience”.

To find out more about the Future Countryside intitative visit the Future Countryside Website

You can also find information on the Countryside Alliance website.