Canadian young farmers the latest to book places for International Farm Management Congress

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A group of 20 Canadian young farmers are the latest to confirm they and their partners will be heading to Edinburgh for the first week in July to take part in the 21st International Farm Management Congress.

Combining seminar sessions with farm visits and lots of time to share experience the event will bring together farmers, farm managers and consultants from across the UK, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.

We want to give farms the best chance of success by empowering farm families with the knowledge and expert networks that can bridge the generation gap.”

Heather Watson, Executive director, Farm Management Canada

IFMA21 will run from July 2nd to 7th, based at the University of Edinburgh’s Pollock Halls.

It is being organised for the International Farm Management Association by SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and the UK’s Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM) which has farmers, farm managers and consultants in its membership.

For the Canadian delegation the UK hosted Congress is an important part of a special national “Step up to Succession” transition programme aimed at preparing the nations under 40’s for taking over a farm in their own right.

“We want to give farms the best chance of success by empowering farm families with the knowledge and expert networks that can bridge the generation gap,” explained Heather Watson, executive director of Farm Management Canada.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity to share in this once in a lifetime learning experience. The future of agriculture will be bright with these young people exposed to agriculture in Scotland and around the world at IFMA21.”

Chairman of the UK organising committee of the International Farm Management Congress is specialist livestock consultant Tim Brigstock.

He said: “We are delighted to welcome this Canadian group and many others to Edinburgh. I am sure they will have as much to teach us about how to tackle issues like succession planning as we will have to teach them about UK approaches to common problems.

“Our congress theme is ‘Future Farming Systems’ at a time when we in Britain are about to go into the new world outside of the EU umbrella. There will be plenty of opportunities for UK professionals to pick the brains of those from all points of the compass.”

Of additional interest to the party from Canada will be a presentation during the final seminar session by SRUC senior agricultural economist Steven Thomson who will identify the challenges for new entrants in Scotland. Andrew Lazenby of Farmcare will discus how to develop young people in a large business.

Following registration on Sunday 2nd July the event opens on the Monday with the first of three conference sessions interspersed with two, day-long tours, offering a choice of eight different field trips to Scottish farms and research centres. A series of social events will be an ideal way to exchange experiences and learn how it’s done on the other sides of each others fences.

In addition to the key congress week delegates are being offered both pre and post congress tours, the first in England the second in the Scottish Highlands.

While many partners will be equally as interested in the technical issues addressed the organisers have arranged a programme for those choosing alternative options.

For more details of the complete programme go to: The 2017 IFMA Congress can be booked online at and to take advantage of the early bird rate registration will need to be made by the end of April.

For any further enquiries contact Richard Cooksley, director IAgrM, Portbury House, Sheepway, Portbury, Bristol BS20 7TE or telephone 01275 843825