Thursday, November 15, 2018

Management course trains new generation of farmers

June 29, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

Applications are open for a unique training course developed with farmers to develop the skills needed when managing a farm business.

Intended for individuals entering farm management or about to start running the family farm, the two-week Farm Management Development Programme is delivered by Bishop Burton College at its Riseholme Showground Campus, near Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

Key topics covered include all aspects of farm business planning and management. Fully residential, the course takes place during a week in November, followed by a week in February. Numbers are limited to 12 participants and those attending are usually in their 20s or 30s.

Industry experts

It involves input from industry experts, field trips, a case study and interaction with other group members – as well as guest speakers. Participants have the opportunity to undertake an assessment module accredited by the Royal Agricultural University.

Harry Middleditch, a 25-year-old assistant farm manager for DF Middleditch & Son, completed the course last year. His family farms 400ha acres of combinable crops, plus a flock of pedigree Hampshire Down sheep and 100 Poll Dorset ewes.

“I arrived home with a new outlook on agriculture as a sector as well as a broader understanding of management. The course has made me rethink my business and how to take it forward in this ever-changing time within the industry.”

The fee for attending the course is £3,800, including all accommodation and food. Funding support may be available from the Princes Countryside Fund, the Chadacre Agricultural Trust, the Hadleigh Farmers Agricultural Association and the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society.

Supporting agriculture

Hadleigh Farmers Agricultural Association secretary Cathy Leney said she was keen that local applicants considered applying. She added: “As a charity ourselves we have a remit to support agriculture and other local charities which we hope we do very well.

“Two years ago, we set up a specific bursary for CPD courses linked with the Worshipful Company of Farmers course at Cirencester and this course at Bishop Burton. We part fund the courses as we believe that it is important that the candidates also raise some of the money themselves.”

Andrew Ward MBE, of Roy Ward Farms, is one of the farmers who helped to develop the course. It covers topics such as business evaluation, marketing, business planning, costs of production, people management, leadership and communication.

Mr Ward said: “Agriculture is changing at an alarming rate and we have to be flexible and focused to keep up. The farm management development course will prepare you for that and help you in your early years of running a profitable farming business.”

The closing date for applications is 28 July. For full details, visit http://bit.ly/FarmManagementCourse or email Rhonda Thompson at rhonda.thompson@bishopburton.ac.uk

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