NG of the Month, Michael Halliday at STFA

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Michael Halliday at STFA

 Tell us how you came to be involved with NG?   

My first involvement, or knowledge of NG came in the form of an email from a fellow Rural Leader. I had been a participant on Scottish Enterprises’ Rural Leadership Program over the winter and received a round-robin email inviting applications to attend a major Agricultural Conference in Brisbane on behalf of RHASS.

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

Agriculture is a global industry. Supply balance/imbalance in one part of the world can have major implications thousands of miles away. If the agricultural leaders of tomorrow have a global network of like minded people they can reach out to in times of difficulty, it can only be of benefit to the industry. Collaboration between businesses on a global scale is a healthy thing, and more likely to happen if trust can be established through friendship.

What issues are you hoping to discuss at the upcoming Brisbane Conference?

I personally think that European policy on decoupling Agricultural Support from production is a mistake. This is encouraging some farmers to do very little and still receive high levels of support. The global population is growing rapidly and demand for a more ‘Western’ diet in India and China is also putting pressure on supply, but I also understand that ‘dumping’ cheap food on to the World Market has a de-stabilizing effect on agricultural exporting economies.

How has RASC furthered the NG mission?

The RASC has furthered the NG Mission (Understanding & Assistance) by bringing about the creation of the NG group to begin with and then supporting them in their goals.

What does the future hold for the NG mission?

I think the future for the NG mission is bright. Agriculture is moving towards a period of strength. Cheap food is likely to be a think of the past. Growing global population and changing diets coupled to rising sea levels and increased desertification are going to make knowledge transfer to developing countries even more important.

What is YOUR vision for NG?

To maximize the skill set of the NG mission delegates to make the knowledge transfer opportunity the best it can possibly be. This has to be a two way learning process so the delegates can truly understand what level of advice is suited to each individual person.