AHDB and the Scottish Government are aiming to have all Scottish dairy businesses signed up to continuing professional development programme Dairy Pro by the end of the year.
Membership of the Dairy Pro scheme, which offers access to a range of training services, is normally £20 a year, however the fee for 2017/18 will be waived for new members, thanks to additional funding from the Government and AHDB. Scottish farmers can register for free now by visiting www.dairypro.co.uk. Current members will also benefit, with all eligible for free membership next year.
AHDB Dairy Knowledge Exchange Manager Helen Brookes says: “We want at least one person per farm business in Scotland signed up to Dairy Pro. It’s really important that we support and encourage people who work in the sector to nurture and develop their talents, as through promoting professional development we can help people build resilient sustainable businesses.”
Sally Williams, who is a dairy and sheep farmer in the Scottish Borders, has been a member of Dairy Pro for nearly three years, and says the easy to use system has focused her professional development.
She says: “Previously, although I used to attend workshops and meetings which helped my professional development, this effort wasn’t recorded. I joined Dairy Pro so I could log all those activities and the process has given me a greater understanding of the areas I have built expertise, and those areas where I perhaps need to do more.”
The scheme enables members to establish an online profile, register for training and events and build up Dairy Pro points. There are a huge range of activities eligible for points including entrepreneurship classes, dairy discussion groups, workshops on soil management and animal health, as well as large scale events such as Women in Dairy and AgriScot.
Once a member has reached 20 Dairy Pro points in any one year, they become Dairy Pro Endorsed, which demonstrates their professionalism to their colleagues and peers. Members can then use the Dairy Pro Endorsed logo for the year they are endorsed on website, marketing material, CVs etc.
Helen says: “We are going to be working hard to raise awareness of this offer, through the media, social media, and direct contact with businesses because we really want farmers to make the most of this opportunity.
“Scottish dairy farmers should sign up now on the website – www.dairypro.co.uk.”