23 August 2002

Win a £2750 course

place on management

The Worshipful Company of Farmers, as part

of its Golden Jubilee celebrations, is offering farmers weekly readers a

sponsored place on one of their cutting-edge management

courses. So dont miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

WANT to develop cutting-edge agricultural business management skills? Want to mix with the industrys movers and shakers? Want to be stretched in a rewarding and constructive way?

Well heres your chance, because farmers weekly has teamed up with the Worshipful Company of Farmers to offer a free place on this top farming course, worth £2750.

One lucky reader will get to attend this three-week, residential Advanced Farm Business Management course early next year at Imperial College at Wye in Kent.

The course runs from the evening of Sun, Jan 19 to Sat, Feb 8, with members working from Monday to Friday each week. The weekends are free for private or group study or for travel.

More than 900 managers have graduated through the course since it began in 1963 – and many have since become leaders of the UKs agricultural industry. Previous attendees include farmers, farm managers, bankers, consultants, land agents – a veritable whos who of the key players in our industry and the ancillary businesses.

New skills

Teaching methods include seminars, group discussions, case studies, exercises and lectures. Dont go expecting an easy time, though – delegates are expected to work hard, sometimes well into the evenings. But this is a fantastic opportunity to broaden your knowledge and learn new skills – new skills which can make a real difference to the bottom line in your business.

Topics covered in the first week include a look at the pressures on the UKs agricultural managers, investment appraisal and risk assessment and leadership. The European agricultural policy, marketing, diversification and leadership are among the areas discussed in the second week. In the third week, negotiation skills, environmental issues and the alleviation of stress are some of the subjects on the agenda.

"Exceptional skills and vision will be needed to guide agricultural businesses in the new Millennium," suggests The Worshipful Company of Farmers. "The aims of this, the 53rd course, are therefore to provide a deeper understanding of the pressures and changes involved, to help managers develop the skills they need to survive and make progress and to provide a background against which future leaders of the industry may develop."

How to enter

To enter this competition, we want you to write and tell us about an innovation youve successfully introduced in the farm or business where you work.

It could be a diversification you introduced, a new approach to tackling an on-farm problem, a means of motivating staff, a novel approach to marketing or possibly even a machine you invented after a brainwave in the farm workshop.

It doesnt matter what scale your innovation has been on – it might have just affected the way you work, it may have had implications for your staff or team. What we are looking for are examples of innovative business-like thinking – the type of thinking that characterises leaders in agriculture and its ancillary industries. The type of thinking that will be needed if British agriculture is to survive and prosper in the 21st century.

Plus, tell us briefly about your managerial experience and academic background (you may wish to include a CV) and why you want to attend the course and what you are hoping to get from it.

The short-listed candidates will then be asked to fill out the normal application form for the course and attend a short interview in London on Oct 17. One of these will be offered the free farmers weekly place on the course.

*Send your entries to arrive by Fri, Sept 6 to: The Worshipful Company of Farmers Competition, farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS or you can email them to tim.relf@rbi.co.uk

WHO TYPICALLY ATTENDS

THE COURSE?

Those attending have had at least three years in a responsible executive position in their business. While formal technical training can be a help to those attending, lack of academic qualifications will not be a disadvantage to a person with ability and initiative.

Past experience shows the average age of those attending is about 35.

The course is intended mainly for individuals directly involved in the management of agricultural businesses in the UK – but places are available for others concerned with the industry provided its felt that they can make a positive contribution to the success of the course.

The course is limited to 20 places – one is reserved for an overseas Nuffield Scholar; and some are reserved for farmers from European countries outside the UK.

Other places are available for those in agricultural marketing, food processing and manufacturing, plus banking and land agency.

OBJECTIVES

Educational objectives of the Advanced Agricultural Business Management course:

To enable the manager to return to his or her business and determine:

&#8226 Where the business is now – what are its strengths, weaknesses and what opportunities or threats does it face.

&#8226 Where the manager expects the business to be in five or 10 years time. What options are there for the development of the business, its resources and its assets in the future?

&#8226 What is needed to achieve the goals set by the manager for that business?

THE WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF FARMERS

The Worshipful Company of Farmers is one of the Livery Companies of London, ancient institutions originally formed as trade guilds.

The main aims of the Farmers Company are to:

&#8226 Stimulate the development of agricultural education.

&#8226 Provide financial assistance for overseas visits by agricultural students.

&#8226 Provide a common meeting ground for farmers and allied professions.

&#8226 Promote a better understanding of the importance of farming in the economic life of the nation and the close association of farming with the City of London.