A new European Union (EU) initiative is creating opportunities for young people to volunteer or work on projects in their own countries or abroad.

The European Solidarity Corps is a major opportunity for organisations of all types to involve young people in projects that benefit people and communities across Europe.

Schools and youth groups are being invited to be part of the European Rural Youth Parliament process.

The European Rural Parliament (ERP) is a network and a process that intends to express the voice of rural people and communities in Europe. They are in a phase of building the youth voice network and preparing to organise the first European Rural Youth Parliament (ERYP) in Latvia in early August 2017.

The European Network for Rural Development's (ENRD) latest 'Rural Connections' magazine is now available online.

The Spring 2017 edition has a focus on social inclusion with interviews on a youth initiative of South & East Cork Area Development, Social Innovation in Marginalised Areas, and a National Rural Networks cluster on migrants and refugees. There is also a report on what LEADER can do in terms of social inclusion.

The European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA) and the company DeLaval are carrying out a survey on sustainable agriculture.

The survey is open to all young farmers across Europe and is available in seven languages. The survey aims to understand the needs of young farmers in order to implement a more sustainable agricultural sector and to find out how young farmers look at their future.

Dumfries and Galloway LEADER can send up to ten young people from the area to an adventure seminar in Finland.

Are you interested in LEADER activities in other areas, do you want to get involved in rural development and get to know other young people from different cultures?

You must be 18-24 years old and be able to travel to Finland on the 12-20 August 2017.

This opportunity will be fully funded by the Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme.

The current funding round of the Food for Thought Education Fund closes for applications at the end of May.

Pupils from Inchture Primary School in Perthshire recently visited the factory where Mackie's Crisps are produced.

The trip to the factory at Taypack, near Errol, was organised by the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) as part of their mission to give every school pupil in Scotland the chance to learn about food, farming and the countryside.

Do you know an inspirational young farmer who has a real passion for the countryside and deserves reognition?

Countryfile's resident farmer Adam Henson is looking for nominations for Countryfile's Young Farmer Award 2017. If you know a young farmer who stands out because of their determination, character or sheer hard work, why not put them forward for the award?

Companies in eleven rural areas are to receive more support to help them take on Modern Apprentices

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed eligible areas for the Rural Supplement on the first day of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, March 6. 

She said:

“Rural communities are vital to Scotland’s economy so it is important they get the support to recruit and retain employees, including Modern Apprentices.

Schoolchildren in Perth and Kinross are taking part in a project encouraging classes to grow and harvest their own potatoes from scratch.

The Mr Jazzy Potato Project, organised by the Perth & Kinross Initiative of the Royal Highland Educational Trust (RHET) and sponsored by WCF Horticulture, aims to show the children the gradually unfolding story of the potato and how food and farming are linked.