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.”