Join BSc Agriculture student, Luke Cox in his bid to Back British Farming

28 November 2017

Image of Luke Cox.BSc Agriculture student, Luke Cox, from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, is staging a one-day event, Thursday 30th November 2017, (situated on the Quad outside the Palmer building) to highlight the importance of the farming industry and British Food.

Working in conjunction with RUSU, the National Farmers' Union (NFU), and Red Tractor, the event follows a student vote at the start of 2017 where members of the Students Union voted in favour of supporting the policy to support the NFU Back British Farming campaign and educate on animal welfare. The event is designed to give students and staff the opportunity to find out more about a sector that is currently worth £112 billion, and employs 3.8 million people (DEFRA, May 2017).

The day includes a question and answer session hosted by Luke, entitled: An Insight to Agriculture (Palmer building, Rm 102, from 1pm-2pm), and features lots of competitions with the chance to win a host of prizes, discover the significance behind the behind the Red Tractor label and what we eat, and pledge your support to British farming.

Luke said: "This is a great way to celebrate the work carried out by the industry in putting food on the plates of the nation. Alongside providing food for 60% of the nation's food needs, farmers have planted 30,000km of hedgerows, provided food and shelter for wildlife, and 10,000 football pitches worth of flower habitat, creating homes for bees - all while producing food for the nation.

Image of a hamper full of food."British farmers need the public's support, as well as Government's, as we enter a great period of uncertainty through the Brexit process. We already know that 90% of the British public want to see a productive farming industry in this country and 64% trust British food more than the rest of the world. But this is no time to rest on our laurels; the next generation, I feel, has an important role in furthering that."

He continued: "There really is no better time for us to replicate the NFU's national Back British Farming day on a University scale to encourage education, conversation and understanding. So, please do come and join us and keep a look out for the Red Tractor on campus."

Event timetable

Thursday 30th November 2017, situated on the Quad, outside the Palmer Building:

8:30 Event begins

All Day Pledge your support by signing the Back British Farming logo

Competition: Sign up to the Back British Farming newsletter

Competition: Selfie frames with a tractor

12:50 Gavin Brooks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Teaching & Learning signs the Back British Farming logo

13:00 Insight to Agriculture talk, followed by a question and answer session

Hosted by Professor Julian Park and Luke Cox

Panel: Professor Julian Park

William White, South East Regional Director, NFU

Luke Cox, BSc agriculture student

Jonathan Moore, Agri-Society Committee Member

13:45 Competition results and prizes

14:30 Event ends


Professor Julian Park, Head of School for Agriculture, Policy and Development, said: "The University of Reading is proud to be the first university to pledge to Back British Farming. As the top university for agriculture in the UK*, it is important for us to lead the way in supporting our local farmers.

"We've found that we have an exceptionally good policy on sourcing British meat, but students don't really know about it. We're hoping that we can engage students today to find out more about where what they eat comes from, and why it's important to back UK-grown food.

"This event was also a chance to inform students and members of the public about the hard work farmers do outside of food production, such as maintaining the countryside we admire so much.

"Luke has worked tirelessly to organise this event in a bid to support our farmers. The issues highlighted are key topics of concern for the industry and it is inspiring to see the next generation of agriculturalists getting behind the current workforce in such a productive way."

Did you know?

That British agriculture maintains the majority of our countryside that is the foundation of all the views, walks, and scenery that we all enjoy.

The University of Reading is ranked 10th in the world for Agriculture. (QS 2017- and the others place us in a more modest top 6.

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