Following on from the success of the previous year Rural Support are now launching this year’s Farm Resilience Programme in the Garvagh and Banbridge areas.
The Programme is aimed at dairy or beef and sheep farmers who are not currently practising benchmarking or engaged in a business development programme and who are looking at ways to improve their business and make efficiencies.
Support will be provided through one to one on farm mentoring as well as a series of five group workshops to be delivered by professional consultants. The workshops will focus on general business areas such as finance and business planning, making efficiencies and looking at new opportunities; as well as preparing for the future such as succession planning and change management post Brexit.
A participant from the previous group commented: “Having previously completed the workshops and having been involved in the programme from start to finish it had really opened my eyes to small, simple changes I could make to my farm and the benefits I would receive by doing so. I was able to take small nuggets from each workshop and replicate them on my own farm which has helped it run more efficiently and effectively.”
The programme will include support to look at the financial performance of your own enterprise through the use of a specially designed ‘business health check tool’. By completing the tool, it will help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Then through a series of workshops you will be able to compare your business with others and identify ways in which you can improve your performance and create a stronger, more resilient farm business.
At the end of the formal part of the programme there are also further opportunities for group activities. A number of farmers have just returned from Scotland where they visited several farms gaining invaluable information through farm walks as well as questions and answer sessions with the farmer and the agricultural consultancy firm Kite. From this, participants could clearly see the value of diversification according to their environment, landscape and financial situation. Furthermore, they grasped the importance of a good business management plan and how a few small changes could reap big rewards. The theme of this year’s trip has been suggested as drought and fodder management as the UK has experienced an abnormally hot summer.
The Farm Resilience Programme is funded by the Prince’s Countryside Fund and is completely free to farmers however spaces are limited. If you would like more information on the programme or to book your place, please contact Gillian Reid by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02886 760040.