The Black Farmer gets kids into the countryside

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, aka The Black Farmer, is calling for urban youngsters to have a taste of rural living by taking part in the annual ‘Young City Farmers Scheme’ at the Royal Agricultural College, in Cirencester, Gloucestershire from the 17 – 27 August 2009.

Based on his original Scholarship scheme launched in 2005 and filmed by Channel 4 “Young Black Farmers”, Wilfred passionately believes that young people living in the UK’s urban jungles are not yet considering life in the countryside as a viable option.


“My own personal experience has taught me that by exposing ‘hardcore urbanites’ to the rural environment, it can trigger a deep seated affinity with the land.  When this happens it opens up a huge amount of options to someone who may have thought they were headed for life’s dustbin heap,” says Wilfred, whose own experience working on his father’s allotment in inner city Birmingham gave birth to his dream to own his own farm, which he fulfilled some 40 years later.


The aim of the scheme is to introduce these young people to the excitement of farming and land management through a range of practical and challenging activities – from milking a cow, to growing vegetables, fishing, tractor driving, dry-stone walling and exceedingly interesting cooking.


This year, the scheme will offer 12 young people the chance to participate in the programme.  With little or no experience of the countryside, participants will need to be excited by the opportunity to learn rural skills and willing to face challenges in a countryside environment.  Participants will have the drive to share new activities, work as part of a team and explore the opportunities that the food and farming industries have to offer.


Successful applicants will be fully sponsored by the Royal Agricultural College, Fred and Marjorie Sainsbury Charitable Trust and the CLA Charitable Trust.


Further information and application forms are available


~ by theblackfarmer on May 15, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Black Farmer gets kids into the countryside”

  1. Wow! What a fabulous thing you are doing.
    It has inspired me to write to our minister of Agriculture to see if we have anything like this in place and if not when will it start? I am kind of a city girl (I grew up in Toronto) but I live in a little hamlet now.
    We had friends and family with farm, so we were lucky enough to be exposed to that way of life but I am sure that there are many young people who are out there who might be interested in farming if they had the chance to experience the life (if even for a short time)
    Take care of you,
    Aunt Jayne

  2. Thanks. Youngsters who have taken part in the past have really gained a huge amount from it, some going on to find occupations in the countryside. I hope the Minister of Agriculture gets behind it, it would be wonderful to get similar schemes going around the globe.

    All the best

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