Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme offers free NI workshops

Prince's workshops TD Farm
HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, launches year three of his Farm Resilience Programme at Louth Livestock Market in March 2018.

FAMILY farm businesses are being invited to register for the third year of The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme following the announcement of brand new workshops designed to help farmers take full advantage of environmental opportunities.

Held in 15 locations across the UK and delivered by local partners, up to 20 farming families can join the highly successful initiative in each location.

Aimed at dairy, beef, and sheep farmers, it helps farming families to make changes to improve their business and ensure their viability.

Eighty-three per cent of participating farmers said they have made greater efficiencies because of taking part, while nine in 10 say they feel more confident for the future of their business.

Patrick from Devon, who took part in year two, said: “The programme is one of those things where you get out of it what you put in. It was a great way to get the ball rolling, getting the family farm to be more like a family business.”

Support is provided through one-to-one on farm advice, as well as a series of seven group workshops delivered by professional consultants, including Kite, The Andersons Centre, Promar, Savills, and Saviour Associates.

This year sees a new selection of workshops based on feedback from participating farmers in year one and two.

This year’s workshops include:

n The Business Health Check – a simple benchmarking exercise carried out on farm, after which the anonymised results are reviewed to show the importance of keeping and using records.

n Practical cost management – exploring ways of making efficiencies and practical cost-saving techniques.

n Getting to know your finances – how accounts are put together, and how they can advise your decision making on-farm.

n Business planning and managing change – encouraging families to look at their farm businesses, to identify short- and

long-term aims, SWOT analysis, and how to manage change.

n Planning for your Future – this looks at how to engage the whole family in succession planning and future proofing your business.

n Managing your environment – looking at environmental recording and benchmarking, identifying your public goods, and opportunities and advice around farming in harmony with the environment.

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “There has never been a more important time for farms to think about the future.

“The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme offers practical advice and support to help farm businesses flourish and by participating in this free programme, family farms have told us they feel fully prepared to maximise future opportunities.”

Applications are open now until Monday, October 15 and places are allocated on a first come first served basis.

For further details or to register visit www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk/farmresilience.

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