May 2, 2023
The Prince’s Countryside Fund is delighted to have held a breakfast reception, hosted by NFU Mutual at The Balmoral Show, to launch our 2023 Farm Resilience Programme at two locations in Northern Ireland this autumn.
Whilst at The Balmoral Show, we held an event with NFU Mutual to deliver a session which shared the support available to Northern Ireland’s farmers as well as celebrated the success the programme has had since it began in 2016.
The Farm Resilience Programme is the PCF’s flagship programme of support for farmers. It offers free business skills and environment training to family farm businesses across the UK, and over the past six years, has supported nearly 1,400 families across the UK. 34 farming families have participated in the 2022/23 programme in Northern Ireland.
The event celebrated the successes of the FRP, with a recent independent evaluation finding that the programme delivers significant economic, social, and environmental benefits for farmers. For every £1 invested by the programme, there is around a £3 return for farmers – not including ongoing benefits to farmers which continue after they’ve completed the programme. Of the Northern Irish participants in the 2022/2023 programme, before taking part, 51% rated their knowledge of the workshop topics as poor or basic, but on programme completion, 91% had more knowledge and of these 44% said they had “good” or “very good” knowledge.
NFU Mutual has been hosting breakfast receptions for The Prince’s Countryside Fund at the Balmoral Show since 2018 to aid the recruitment of farmers to the FRP. The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has also donated nearly £200,000 to The Prince’s Countryside Fund since 2020 to support emergency funding for Farm Support Groups in 2020 and the PCF’s rural grant programme in 2021.
Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “The Prince’s Countryside Fund wants to make a positive difference through helping those who live and work in the countryside, particularly the smaller family farms. Our transformational business training, our practical workshops on the environment and our bespoke support for farmers are needed now more than ever.
This year, our FRP is tailored to Northern Ireland’s future farming policy, so I do encourage farmers to learn more about the FRP, and to consider signing-up for its launch in Autumn 2023.”
The programme is open to dairy and livestock family farm businesses and takes a whole-farm and whole-family approach.
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