Launched in March 2021, The YoungStock is aimed at any budding young farmer, or child interested in farming and the countryside. Packed full of stories and activities, the 32-page publication celebrates the environment, food production and seasonality.
Founded by cattle farmer Emma Smith to help dispel farming myths, and engage children from a non-farming background, this new monthly publication has a strong vision to inform and collaborate with the industry.
“Despite my passion for agriculture, I am not from a farming background. From a young age it was clear that a career with animals was my destiny, which eventually developed into a career in agriculture. In 2016 I became the Youth Coordinator for The Hereford Cattle Society facilitating workshops and events. I quickly found myself enthused to complete a Masters’ Degree in Children’s Publishing and realised there was a gap in the market and so combined my passion for farming and education, and The Youngstock was born.”
Aimed at 7 to 11 year olds, Emma’s vision for the publication is about empowering the younger generation to think about the perceived issues surrounding agriculture for themselves, whilst engaging as many different voices as possible to showcase the wide range of careers available in the industry.
“I want to shine a light on our farmers and our food producers; to provide our young readers with facts and information to enable them to make informed decisions by themselves. But it is also about encouraging reluctant readers and enticing non-farming children into our vast, knowledgeable industry.”
In the first edition, features included skidsteers and alpacas, to dairy farming in Cornwall and livestock in the USA. It touches on some of the hard-hitting messages such as Avian Flu, owning your own farm, Brexit and robots. As well as look at seasonality including lambing, and growing and cooking with carrots.
For Emma, it is important not to shy away from these topics and to address some of discussions that children may hear or read about in their everyday lives.
“YoungStock is about both looking to the future and reflecting on what is happening in the industry, that will ultimately impact our readers. It is important that it tackles some of the difficult subjects in a tone that appeals to our young audience and to encourage discussion. It is also about encouraging them to participate and help shape the publication as it evolves.”
The magazine encourages interaction. Last month every reader received a free packet of seeds to put growing into practice, and launched a writing competition with the theme “Countryside Life in Lockdown”. Each month also includes a junior interview and letters from children.
YoungStock costs £3.99 per month and is available on subscription. To find out more visit www.theyoungstock.com