The competition was organised by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), the NFU and Championing the Farmed Environment (CFE), and was supported by Defra.
William Whittall from Herefordshire has been named the winner of the under 18s category, and Elliot Cole from Devon won the over 18s category.
William highlighted how his 200-acre family farm was focusing on staying local and using the resources at its disposal.
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The success of this first climate challenge has encouraged organisers to involve other nations in the search for ideas. The Climate Challenge is now open again for entries for over 18s in Northern Ireland and more young farmers are encouraged to enter from England and Wales with a chance to influence the world’s biggest climate change conference, the United Nations’ COP26 on 1-12 November 2021.
The deadline for challenge entries in England and Wales is 13 December 2020, and 16 October in Northern Ireland.
NFU climate change adviser Ceris Jones, and Laura Harpham the CFE’s project co-ordinator were both involved in judging the competition. They said: “We really liked how Elliot used what was happening on his farm across all three net zero pillars to bring the NFU’s ambition to life to inspire others. He showed an insightful understanding of the importance of encouraging farming neighbours and the wider industry to take action.
“We also thought it was great how William not only identified the carbon benefits of what’s already happening in the family business, but was also looking to the future both on and off the farm.”
NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts, who chairs the NFU’s net zero steering group, also congratulated the two winners on their entries. He said: “It’s fantastic to have two young people seize our net zero challenge as they’re the generation who’ll face the greatest climate challenge”.