Alice Taherzadeh, a researcher at Cardiff University has published a report on educational pathways into agriculture in the UK. The report contains many references to WWOOFing as being a key entry point for people discovering that they can choose to make farming a career.
The report covers topics including:
Key Entry Points into Sustainable Agriculture (including WWOOFing)
Motivations of Young Entrant Farmers
Typical Types of Training
Learning Pathway Challenges
Alice has spent time with young entrant farmers and this report covers two in-depth case studies which are both effective learning pathways. One of these is Pathways to Farming, Mach Maethlon, a project in Wales which offers training in how to grow organic food and make a living doing so. We know plenty about this successful project thanks to Katie Hastings who has been a WWOOF UK Trustee until recently.
Here is an extract from the report to whet your appetite:
Transforming the UK food system requires us to look ahead and ensure that we nourish the small shoots today which will form important parts of our sustainable food system tomorrow. This means not only tackling the challenge of retaining people in farming and supporting their transition to sustainable agriculture but also, and importantly, attracting and supporting new entrants into agriculture. This report highlights both the incredible enthusiasm and energy young new entrants are bringing to the farming sector and the many challenges they face in a system which offers little support for them. To encourage the creation of more sustainable farm businesses in the UK, a crucial starting point is supporting new farmers’ learning pathways into sustainable agriculture.
This work offers a lot of valuable information for anyone considering becoming a food grower in the UK and encouragement in the form of ‘Tips for New Entrants’ that will give newbies a mental and emotional headstart.
To read the report in full please click here.