Every year the Agri & Rural Affairs Committee organise a study tour to look at farming operations in other countries. The trips are open to any SAYFC member and are often fully or part funded through trusts, grants and donations making it a very low cost trip with plenty of opportunity to pick up ideas to bring back to Scotland.
Previous study tours have included:
2012 - Texas
2013 - Wales
2014 - Argentina Read the report here
2015 - Ireland
2016 - New Zealand. Read the report here
2016 - Massey Ferguson Factory Tour France
2017 -Devon and Somerset
The destination for the 2018 Agri and Rural Affairs Study Trip is ….. California, USA and applications are now open.
The theme for study tour is: Improving Efficiency by Embracing Technology
Every year the world population continues to grow, while at the same time the area available to grow the food to feed everyone shrinks. So we as an industry must adapt, farm smarter and improve efficiency by embracing modern technology, no matter what sector you come from.
So now is the time to seize the opportunities technology can offer, or risk being left behind!
Perhaps better known for Hollywood and Silicon valley, California is also the Breadbasket for the world and the main source of food for the USA. As a world leader in agricultural technology advancement and utilisation they have driven the sector forward to meet the rising needs of such a large nation by immense productivity
Below are just 13 interesting facts about Agriculture in California:
1. California is the world’s 5th largest supplier of food, cotton and other agricultural commodities.
2. California is the largest producer of food in the U.S. yet has less than 4% of the farms in the U.S.
3. The unique climate allows them to grow over 450+ different crops.
4. Some of these crops are exclusive to California: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pomegranates, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts
5. California is the largest exporter of almonds in the world
6. California is the number 1 dairy state in the U.S.
7. California produces over 86% of all the lemons consumed in the United States.
8. California is the 4th largest wine producer in the world and produces over 90% of the wine in the U.S.
9. 70 to 80% of all ripe olives are grown in California
10. California accounts for 94% of the processed tomatoes in the U.S.
11. California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries, averaging 1.4 billion pounds of strawberries or 83% of the country’s total fresh and frozen strawberry production.
12. The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $700 million with related employment of more than 48,000 people.
13. California produces 25% of the nation’s onions and 43% of the nation’s green onions.
Our Study tour to the state of California promises to be the trip of a lifetime and help focus the minds of those on the tour to return home ready to drive their own business forward by embracing technology.
End of November/beginning of December, however this is subject to change.
Information on the itinerary will be provided shortly including the finalised dates.
The trip will be approximately 12 days.
Who can apply and how many places are available?
Any SAYFC member may apply who is 18 years of age or older
Individuals who have experienced two or more Agri and Rural Affairs Study Tours are not eligible to apply.
There are 12-15 places available and these individuals will be joined by an SAYFC staff member and the Agri & Rural Affairs Chairman.
The trip cost is approximately £2,500 per person which includes flights, accommodation and transport in California.
Application and selection process
Members will be selected based on an application process, reviewed by an independent panel.
Applications must be completed by Friday 2rd February 2018 using the link below.
On return to Scotland you will then be required to contribute to a group report, and take part in the odd presentation to sponsors/trusts that have provided group funding.
Clare Sturla –firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 333 2445
Iain Wilson – email@example.com