Virtual Dairy Training Course Helps Aspiring Farmers Focus on Key Business Issues

A specialist business course for aspiring dairy producers that offers expert training and a networking opportunity is now open for applications.

The Entrepreneurs in Dairying (EID) course is designed to offer specialist instruction focusing on business efficiency and the key factors involved with working and running a dairy farm as well as providing delegates with the ability to network and form mentoring partnerships.

The 10-day long course delivered between October and December, will this year take the form of live virtual training rather than through a classroom, meaning applicants can apply regardless of their geographical location.

The training will cover topics such as understanding the milk market and supply chain, tax and trading, people management, business planning, finance, and future opportunities.

Expert tutors will cover each of the topics and this year sees the return of senior farm business consultant Tony Evans from The Andersons Centre; succession planning expert Sian Bushell and leadership and management expert Paul Harris. Sponsors HSBC will be running a session looking at access to funding.

Applications are welcome from people of any age with some experience of dairying and from any background within or related to the industry.

The course, now in its seventh year, has seen more than 250 applicants successfully complete the training.  EID has been integral to the students, providing them with the contacts and connections to go on and establish their own businesses, whether it be share partnerships, joint ventures, tenancies, or development of their existing businesses.

Abi Reader is a former EID delegate and completed the course in 2015 to strengthen her knowledge of the wider issues surrounding dairy farming. 

She said: “The course was a good chance to stop and focus on business issues rather than mainly stockmanship and herd performance. Focusing on input costs, assessing investments and managing gross margins can often get forgotten in day to day tasks so this provided a great opportunity to shift my focus.”

The programme is managed by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) in collaboration with AHDB Dairy, the NFU and The Andersons Centre and is sponsored by HSBC UK.

Applications must be in by 31 August 2020 with numbers restricted to 50.  Applicants will be selected by the end of August.

The fee for attending the intensive training is £325 which will include a final two-day session involving a farm visit and a day at NFU’s Headquarters at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

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About The Author

John Swire - 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.