Managing any business through the uncertainty of Brexit and beyond is a challenge, but agriculture and related industries perhaps face greater change than any other sector. Short of enrolling in a full-time college course, it can be difficult for tomorrow’s leaders to obtain the skills required.
The Bishop Burton Farm Management Development course has been designed with farmers for farmers and is targeted at helping individuals establish the skills needed in a managerial role. Delegates will have the chance to share their experiences with like-minded people both in and out of the training room, and the programme is intended for those entering management or about to start running the family farm.
The course is being delivered in the country's premier agricultural county, Lincolnshire, at the new Riseholme Showground campus. It is being supported by the Prince's Countryside Fund for a further two years. To date, the Fund has pledged almost £70,000 to provide bursaries for successful applicants.
Claire Saunders, Director, the Prince’s Countryside Fund says; “The Prince’s Countryside Fund is delighted to be supporting Bishop Burton College’s very successful Farm Management Course again. It is essential that young people are given the help, expertise, knowledge and opportunity not only to embark on a career in agriculture but also to progress within the industry in order to run successful and resilient farm businesses.”
This unique programme has also attracted support from Agricultural Societies and groups including the Chadacre Agricultural Trust, the Hadleigh Farmers Agricultural Association, the Howden Show and the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society.
The course includes a working case study, where delegates analyse an existing business and advise how to improve it; there are workshops on communication, leadership and management techniques; as well as individual profiling and development. Delegates will also make a lasting network of friends and peers.
Following successful completion of the course, participants will be eligible to apply for an assessment module accredited by the Royal Agricultural University.
Andrew Ward MBE of Roy Ward (Farms) Ltd. is one of the farmers who helped to develop the course. He said; “I took part in a training course delivered by the RAU five years ago. Attending the course has changed my life and my business. Agriculture is changing at an alarming rate and we have to be flexible and focussed 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. I just wish this type of course had been available when I started running the family farm. I was delighted to be one of the farmers approached to help with the content and delivery, this is a farming course designed by farmers for farmers.”
The closing date for applications is 16th September 2017 with course numbers being limited to 12. Successful applicants will be invited for interview on 9th October 2017.