Helping young farmers talk about succession

A new succession training module, developed by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and succession experts, is now available for YFC members to use at the start of the new membership year.
The training session, called Ready and Resilient, has been devised with Savills and Siân Bushell for Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) to include in their new 2019-20 club programmes.
The course, which has been designed to run during a club meeting, aims to highlight:

  • the concept of succession planning
  • the part communication plays
  • the process and skills needed to begin the conversation
  • the positive effects of succession planning within a variety of situations
  • the consequences of inadequate succession planning.

Charles Skelton, Food and Farming Consultant for Savills in Lincoln, said: “We want to help the younger generation of farmers to start a succession conversation.  Often the whole topic seems too complicated and difficult to sort out so people ignore it, which leads to problems. Understanding, unpacking and talking about succession is a great start.”
The module, which has been supported by Defra and is part of NFYFC’s Curve training, complements the succession video and guide that were launched last year. The short film – We Really Need to Talk – was aimed at encouraging people to start thinking and talking about succession and was narrated by Siân Bushell from Siân Bushell Associates. The film showed a family struggling to communicate about the farming business and gave advice on how to resolve these issues.
NFYFC’s Agriculture and Rural Issues Chairman David Goodwin said: “Many young farmers are facing difficult discussions with their families and this training module gives a great insight to why the topic is so important, what can happen if the subject isn’t broached and also how it applies to any business or even a YFC.
“This is just part of a suite of resources that we have created for our members which includes videos, guides and training. We can’t emphasise enough the importance of communication for tackling succession issues. It’s a new YFC year and timely to consider some of the tough topics that will be so necessary during what’s become quite uncertain times.”
For more information, to download the Ready and Resilient guide and to watch a video from the pilot training course, featuring young farmers’ views, visit: www.nfyfc.org.uk/successiontraining.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.