IN time for the arrival of the new season, local charity Rural Support has issued a call to the farming community encouraging people to undertake a spring clean of a special kind.
Rural Support Chief Executive Jude McCann says that now is the perfect time to spring clean your farming business finances.
He said: “Spring is usually a great time of year for the agricultural community, with sunnier days and new life on the farm, but that shouldn’t distract farm businesses from keeping their financials in order.
“A proper spring clean at the farm should also include a review of your finances, particularly as we prepare for the new financial year ahead.
“After what has been an extremely wet and difficult Winter, many farmers have experienced increased stress due to losing crops, damage to farmland, missed production deadlines and a shortage in fodder which has led to detrimental impacts on the farm finances.
“Mending this might seem like a daunting task, but Rural Support is here to help. For those who need some additional support with issues such as cash flow or debt, our farm business mentors can offer specialist, impartial advice on how to get your business back on the right track. Their support will ease the burden and help identify a way forward.”
Rural Support has a team of 11 farm business mentors, all of which have extensive experience in agribusiness and finance. They have a diverse range of skills that can help farmers give their finances a ‘spring clean’ and help address financial issues regarding the farm business.
The charity which supports farmers and farming families right across Northern Ireland has undergone a spring clean of its own – launching a brand new helpline number for those who need guidance or a helping hand.
Jude added: “We understand that it can be difficult to talk to family members or friends about financial, health or any other sensitive issues. Using our new helpline number is the first step in addressing these issues. I urge anyone who thinks they may benefit from the support of one of our volunteers or farm business mentors to get in touch.”
The Rural Support helpline provides listening and signposting service for farmers and rural families.
A dedicated team of staff and volunteers deal with a range of issues including farm financial pressures, physical and mental health concerns, farming paperwork and bureaucracy.
The freephone helpline number is 0800 138 1678. Helpline Operating Hours are 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday.