Farm Business Pilot programme is now open

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Rural Support has opened registration for the new Farm Business Sustainability Pilot Programme.

As part of CAFRE’s Farm Family Key Skills Programme, the programme will open to 50 farm businesses across Northern Ireland.

It will provide workshops and mentoring support to assist with improving farm business performance and will look at effective transfer of business assets through succession planning.

Farming is becoming increasingly complex.

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CEO Veronica Morris along with Head of Farm Support Gillian ReidCEO Veronica Morris along with Head of Farm Support Gillian Reid
CEO Veronica Morris along with Head of Farm Support Gillian Reid

The future will continue to bring substantial challenges for farm businesses and families - whether relating to market fluctuations due to the impact of Brexit and Covid-19, changes in support mechanisms or increasing focus on environmental issues.

This new programme will help to tackle these pressures and provide direct support to farm businesses through addressing three key areas impacting on the sustainability of the farm business: business management, environment, and the farm family.

Gillian Reid, Head of Farm Support said, “The Farm Business Sustainability Pilot Programme is designed for full-time farmers who are not currently engaged with other support programmes and who have identified a willing successor to take over the enterprise.

The farm business must also be open to participating in a benchmarking exercise as a starting point, to look at where there may be scope for improvement or increasing efficiency.

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Workshops will begin in early February so I would encourage those who meet the criteria to register as soon as possible as spaces are limited. This is an excellent opportunity at no cost to the farm business so please lift the phone and give us a call.”

The programme incorporates confidential one-to-one mentoring on-farm, together with a series of workshops and will focus on key areas relevant to the farm business.

The purpose of these workshops will be to provide participants with information and knowledge to assist with decision making and developing a confidential action plan for the business with the help

of experienced Farm Business Mentors. Workshops topics include: How is your Business Performing?, Your Farm and the Environment, Succession Planning and Taxation, and, Farm Finance / Financial Planning

If you would like to find out more or register contact Rural Support’s Farm Support Unit by emailing: [email protected] or Freephone 0800 138 1678.