Two new appointments have been made on the Livestock Auctioneers Association’s (LAA) Next Generation Group committee, a sub-section of the main LAA council.

Kivells’ director Russell Steer and Hereford Livestock Market auctioneer Greg Christopher have been elected chairman and vice-chairman respectively.

The Next Generation Group was established to represent younger auctioneers and fieldsmen working in livestock markets, as well as to connect with the younger generation of livestock farmers.

Mr Steer, who operates out of Exeter Livestock Centre, is the new chairman of the group at a time when it becomes even more closely aligned with the formal activities of the main LAA council. Both Mr Steer, 33, and 32-year-old vice-chair Mr Christopher also sit on the full LAA council, and are able to put forward matters raised by the Next Generation Group during formal council meetings.

Mr Steer said: “I was always keen on the idea of a next generation committee. Not only is it a great way for the younger generation of the industry to socialise and form friendships, but the formal part of the business gives young auctioneers a chance to voice views and concerns regarding industry matters.

“I think the main remit for the group is allowing members to speak freely amongst similar aged colleagues, encouraging a real sense of freedom within the group to raise concerns they may not feel comfortable in doing so in a different environment.”

Mr Christopher said: “The principle is to give LAA members under the age of 40 a voice, and the group has now grown to some 20 members. Meetings move around the country at different times, to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

Both Mr Steer and Mr Christopher have been involved with the Next Generation Group from its origins back in 2016, and are encouraged with the stronger platform and link it now has to the full LAA council, which in turn helps the group reach out to its farmer audience.

“Our target audience needs to be the next generation farmer, those who will be farming over the next 25 years and beyond,” says Mr Christopher, “We need to be catering for their needs.”

Mr Steer added: “The Next Generation Group is well placed to connect with the younger generation of farmer, be it through social media or other technological means.

“We need to engage with those younger livestock farmers, focused purely on production, and who do not leave the farm, that without markets, their industry would be in a much worse place. We can demonstrate the many advantages of selling live.”

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