Young Farmers Chairman highlights mental wellbeing
Published: 15th May 2020
With the farming industry classed as essential during lockdown, farmers and agricultural workers are working harder and longer hours each week to ensure we have enough food as a nation.
However, Chairman of Cornwall Young Farmers (CYF) and former Duchy College Rosewarne student, Ben Cavill, said it was vital to support farmers during this difficult time.
As Technical Manager for Pengelly Farms Ltd, Ben, 26, took up the post as county chairman of CYF last September and launched #MyMindMatters mental health campaign, which focuses on mental health in agriculture, with a message of “it’s okay not to be okay”.
“In these unprecedented times, we are conscious that a greater number of people will be feeling isolated and alone, which is never a good thing,” he explained.
“With limited face-to-face strategies to overcome this, we are actively keeping our members and supporters involved with YFC by hosting online activities and challenges that they can take part in as well as making regular contact with our members.”
Ben, who studied Level 2 and Level 3 Agriculture apprenticeships at Rosewarne, completed his study at the land-based campus in 2014 progressing on to study an FdSc in Agriculture and Farm Management at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.
“The importance of the #MyMindMatters campain continuing to signpost people in the direction of support will only grow as restrictions are held and even once they start to be lifted, we anticipate that the demand for a friendly face or a gentle conversation will be needed more than ever as businesses and livelihoods try to get back to some form of normality,” he added.
In respect to his day job as Technical manager at Pengelly Farms Ltd, he explained that COVID-19 “is fortunately not affecting us too badly”.
“Our office is limiting staff working together and our tractor drivers are working on a one man one machine basis,” he added.
Ben’s passion for the industry is steadfast and he sees huge opportunities in the future.
“The demand for food is increasing, global populations are on the up and the requirement to produce higher yielding, higher quality food becoming greater,” he explained.
“The advances in technology and the shift towards efficiency and productivity within food production systems will only ever increase the requirement for skilled labour.”
Ben’s first role after university was as Operator of the Pengelly Barton Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Leedstown, the only role of its kind in Cornwall. His day to day role was to oversee the production of energy crop which produced biogas for conversion into electricity for export into the national grid.