MEMBERS of the Wales YFC Youth Forum welcomed the opportunity to meet with the recently appointed Children’s Commissioner for Wales Sally Holland.

The Youth Forum used the opportunity to raise concerns regarding the challenges facing the young rural population along with demonstrating what the YFC movement has to offer.

The visit was hosted during the Royal Welsh Show where Mrs Holland was able to see firsthand how involved the younger generation is in farming families and the wide range of activities undertaken by Wales YFC’s members during the week of the show.

Among the many issues raised with the commissioner were the ongoing concerns surrounding unauthorised school absences for educational activities which fall outside of the school gate such as the Royal Welsh Show, the need for Agriculture to be a part of the National Curriculum, the lowering of the voting age and the promotion and support for rural careers.

Elin Havard, Wales YFC Youth Forum chairman said, “The backdrop of the Royal Welsh is the perfect venue from where to emphasis the importance of recognising how important events such as the Royal Welsh are in the farming calendar in terms of educational benefit for young people. Wales YFC does not support unauthorised abstraction from school but genuine consideration must be given to extra-curricular educational activities”

Miss Havard also highlighted a worrying fact that a growing number of children are unaware of food origin.

“We are now starting to see the effects upon a generation that are totally disengaged from the land. It is essential that consumers from a young age have an awareness of food production if they are to make informed choices that support our farmers at the supermarket”

“We would welcome the addition of agriculture to the National Curriculum. We feel that the Welsh Baccalaureate has significant opportunities to incorporate learning about food production, cookery and the benefits to heath”

“We therefore welcomed commissioner Holland’s commitment to further engage with the rural youth population and ensure that we have our voices heard where it matters.

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For further information please ring Wales YFC on 01982 553502.