Business and leadership courses launch for keen farmers

Farmers just starting out, as well as those who are more experienced, will have the opportunity to push their careers forward with the launch of two new courses.

The Worshipful Company of Farmers will offer a one-week Leadership and Management Programme in October to about eight to 10 young people to equip them with the basic management skills to run their own business.

The course, which will be run through Duchy College Rural Business School, will be for people in their early 20s just starting out in farming and who have aspirations to manage a small or medium-sized business. The Livery will offer financial support, which will be assessed at interview.

See also: What the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme can offer farms

In addition, one person a year, who is further on in their farming career, will be chosen for the Cranfield Business Growth Programme.

The Bedfordshire-based university is one of the UK’s top five commercial research-intensive universities, alongside Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London and University College London.

The 11-week course will offer an in-depth, one-on-one programme with a dedicated course leader from Cranfield University. It will challenge the student and help them innovate and push their business to the next level. 

Again, the Livery will offer financial support for the course. 

Philip Wynn, master of the Company, said that with Brexit on the horizon, the Livery had a role to play in helping farmers deal with the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“It is clear is that we will need to prepare more and more people to lead our industry into a vibrant, positive and profitable future,” he said.

“Now it is the right time to widen our educational reach and in October this year we are to initiate a one-week entry-level management and development programme to be held at Keele University. 

“The purpose is to prepare young managers for leadership and management responsibilities and it will contribute to the growth of the wider rural sector.”

Mr Wynn added: “Farming and food businesses are becoming increasingly complex and carry enormous risk. We have recognised that we need to provide support beyond our existing business management delivery and we are now committed to sponsoring a delegate every year on the Cranfield Business Growth Programme.  

“This course is very much about individual development and seeks to answer the critical questions of: Where am I now, where am I going and how do I get there.”

Find out more

To apply to the Leadership and Management Programme, contact Richard Soffe, the course director at Duchy College on 07768 055430. 

For the Cranfield course, contact the Livery’s clerk with an expression of interest via 

Alumni of the Company’s existing courses include Mr Wynn, who is a non-executive director of Beeswax Dyson Farms (the farming estate owned by Sir James Dyson) and NFU president Meurig Raymond. 

Find out more about the existing courses, or contact the Worshipful Company of Farmers