May 2015 NG Month is Claire Hodge, Technical Executive of the Potato Council

May 2015 Next Generation of the Month is Claire Hodge, Technical Executive of the Potato Council

Tell us how you came to be involved with NG?

Claire Hodge - Technical Executive of the Potato Council
Claire Hodge – Technical Executive of the Potato Council

In 2010 I was awarded a joint scholarship from the Cameron Trust and Smithfield Club which allowed me to attend the 24th RASC Conference in Scotland. This was an experience that by far exceeded my expectations. I was fortunate enough to meet people from all round the commonwealth and gain an understanding of the importance of agricultural communities around the world. The opportunity to see Scottish agriculture and the strength of Scottish show networks made me proud of what we have and made me want to understand more about how these networks can exchange knowledge to build on experience and knowledge. 

Why do you think NG is important to the Agricultural Industry?

The NG network allows young people working in agriculture to see the opportunities and underlines the importance of agriculture. The RASC NG promotes the role that societies provide to the agricultural industry, this is a unique opportunity. By encouraging the NG to seek roles and get involved to promote agriculture and its wider activities is critical. There is also sometimes knowledge gaps in the industry where experience is not transferred down to the next generation, this group allows us to engage with key stakeholders in the agriculture industry and develop ideas for the future. 

How has RASC furthered the NG mission?

The RASC has enabled and encouraged the development of the NG Missions which has in turn created a network of people who have attended NG Conferences and Missions.  This has allowed a vast web of knowledge and skills to be shared across the Commonwealth.  These skills have become invaluable to many who have attended or received this information.

What does the future hold for the NG mission? 

I believe this is a lifelong mentoring system, the people you meet both from the NG and RASC members will be with you throughout your career and they provide experience and knowledge that will continue to following generations. The history of show societies should not be forgotten and needs to be celebrated to bring new people to the agricultural industry. 

What is YOUR vision for NG? 

I would like to continue to be part of the RASC network and I believe more can be done to mentor and help encourage young enthusiastic people to get involved. The excitement and drive of this group is extraordinary and finding new ways to enhance this network by using modern technology must continue to be developed.