Networks discuss how to prepare farming families for the future

January 18, 2019

The Prince’s Countryside Fund brought together more than 20 farmer networks from around the UK yesterday (17th January) to network, share knowledge, and discuss how to best support farming families for the future.

Kindly hosted by long term supporters of the Fund, NFU Mutual, at their Warwickshire offices, the day allowed agricultural support groups from all across the British Isles to share best practice and discuss how to deal with current issues in the sector.

Joanne Crib, Senior Manager at NFU Mutual said: “NFU Mutual were delighted to once again host The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s Farmer Networks Day. It is a fantastic opportunity to bring together grass-roots organisations from across the UK who are pivotal in supporting British farmers, often in some of the most isolated parts of the country.

“This event enables the Networks to share ideas and best practice, and importantly to look at ways of collaborating to ensure that as many farming families as possible can benefit from their tremendous support during this period of change for the industry. NFU Mutual are huge supporters of the work of The Prince’s Countryside Fund as well as supporting a number of the individual farming networks through The NFU Mutual Charitable Foundation.”

Attendees heard talks from the Yorkshire Agricultural Society about the role of agricultural societies in the farming community, Making VAT Digital from IAGSA, and supporting families to think about succession planning from Saviour Associates.

The group were also treated to Jude McCann from Rural Support NI speaking about his 2018 Nuffield Scholarship research on Protecting the Farms greatest asset: increasing resilience and knowledge transfer, as well as Stephanie Berkeley from the Farm Safety Foundation talking about how to support the physical and mental wellbeing of farmers.

Maddy Fitzgerald, Head of Operations at the Fund said “The Fund is delighted to be holding our second farmer networks day, following the success of our gathering in June 2017. We continue to work closely with a number of networks across the UK and it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to bring them together to share their experiences and collaborate.”

Networks in attendance:

Beds and Cambs Rural Support
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Exmoor Hill Farming Network
Farm Cornwall
Herefordshire Rural Hub
Lincolnshire Rural Support Network
NFU Mutual
Oakbank Conservation
Saviour Associates
The Addington Fund
The Farmer Network
The Farming Community Network
The Farming Life Centre
Tir Dewi
Yorkshire Agricultural Society