Free support for farming families across the UK

October 3, 2022

Farming families across the UK can now sign up for free business and environmental training from The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

Coordinated locally by Rural Support NI in Northern Ireland, RSABI in Scotland, and Rural Advisors in Wales, farmers can participate in the sixth year of The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s Farm Resilience Programme. 73% of farmers who have taken part in the Farm Resilience Programme reported improved business skills and 58% reported increases in profitability, with an average profit increase of over £9,000. This year, groups will be based in Dungiven and Seskinore in Northern Ireland; Stranraer, Ullapool and Caithness in Scotland; and Bala, Brecon, and Tregaron in Wales.

In England, farmers can participate in Farm for the Future, which is taking place in 13 areas and being delivered by trusted local partners, as well as a virtual group for families based elsewhere in England. Groups will be based in Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Dartmoor, the Durham Dales, Exmoor, Herefordshire, the High Weald, Lancashire, Norfolk, Northumberland, the Peak District, and the Yorkshire Dales.

Through these farm resilience programmes, groups of farming families will take part in a series of workshops designed to help their business become more profitable and sustainable, as well as receiving one-to-one support and access to the PCF’s Farm Resilience Network, which provides ongoing free social and training opportunities. All family members are welcome to attend the sessions, which are delivered by expert agricultural consultants, and a meal is provided at each meeting.

In a recent survey of farmers who have participated in the PCF’s support programmes, only 13% thought their farm would be more profitable over the next 12 months. However, 7 in 10 respondents said they felt confident for the future of their farm business and 8 in 10 said they felt prepared to cope with change as a result of taking part, demonstrating the importance of accessing PCF’s free support programmes at this time.

Katie who took part in Farm for the Future last year said: “Farm for the Future has given me a greater understanding of what we need to investigate. It showed us what is out there already in terms of grants and schemes, as well as helped us looking at changes and how to offset the changes and plan for the future with no BPS.

“There are plenty of ideas we have taken away from the Farm for the Future programme that we are going look into for our farming business. You really are never too old to learn. All of the workshops had interesting speakers and I felt I always picked up on something relevant to us.”

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