Management course helps young farmers to thrive

Farms and rural businesses will need excellent leadership and management if they are to thrive in the coming years, and a new short course is set to provide just that.

Managing any business through the uncertainty of Brexit and beyond is a challenge, but agriculture and related industries perhaps face greater change than any other sector. However, short of enrolling in a full-time college course, it can be difficult for tomorrow’s leaders to obtain the skills required.

That’s why the Worshipful Company of Farmers and Duchy College have joined forces to launch a new Leadership and Management Programme (LAMP), targeted at 20-30 year-olds who are keen to progress their career to the next level. “Whether you’re planning to take over the family farm in a few years, are setting up your own rural business, or are seeking the next step in a larger organisation, it’s vital that you acquire the necessary skills to manage staff and lead them forwards,” explains course manager Chris Godolphin.

“Having the confidence to create a business plan, motivate staff, refocus on different enterprises, and work with professionals to improve profitability through volatile times are all vital elements of a good leader,” he adds. “Taking a few days away to learn these skills and develop a new perspective could be the most profitable investment you ever make.”

The LAMP will be held at Keele University, Staffordshire, over five days from 23-28 October 2017, with financial assistance available through the Worshipful Company of Farmers. It will include a working case study, whereby delegates analyse an existing business and advise how to improve it; workshops on communication, leadership and management techniques; as well as individual profiling and development. Delegates will also receive mentor support for a full year after the course, while also creating a lasting network of friends and peers.

“We are entering a defining moment for the future of the industry and strong leadership will be fundamental to our future success,” says Jane King, CEO at AHDB. “Personal development and a positive attitude towards lifelong learning will be vital if we’re to build a world class industry together.”

Up until now, the only training options for younger people have been formal college or university courses, adds Mr Godolphin. “We are well-served with higher level short courses like the Challenge of Rural Leadership and Advanced Agricultural Business Management, but there was a gaping hole for the younger leaders of the future. LAMP plugs that gap and will really help set up delegates’ careers, placing them on a strong footing to drive the whole rural industry forwards to a vibrant future.”

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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.