Farmers aspiring to be agricultural leaders of the future or develop their business skills can apply for a fully subsidised training programme.
The Agri Academy scheme is entering its fourth year and will offer three programmes focusing on rural leadership, business innovation and new entrants.
It will be run by Farming Connect, the Welsh government’s farming and forestry support team, in collaboration with rural organisations.
Rebecca Evans, deputy minister for farming and food in Wales, said the academy had “a fantastic track record of paving the way to business success for its alumni.”
The three programmes:
The Rural Leadership Programme
Running in collaboration with the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, it aims to help promising individuals with agricultural experience develop the skills they need to become industry leaders.
The Business and Innovation Programme
Focuses on training future farming entrepreneurs by developing management and business strategy skills.
The Junior Academy
Run in partnership with Wales’ Young Farmers Club and is specifically for young people, aged 16-19, who are interested in pursuing a career in the food and farming industries.
Programme helped new entrant succeed
Rhidian Glyn, 30, of Rhiw Griafol, near Machynlleth, was a member of the Agri Academy Business and Innovation programme in 2013.
As a first generation farmer whose parents are both teachers, the programme helped Mr Glyn get his foot in the door.
“The Agri Academy gave me the confidence and belief in myself that I could succeed. Since being in the Agri Academy I have been successful in securing a Farm Business Tenancy and the confidence I gained really helped me achieve that.”
As well as rearing 900 sheep, Mr Glyn is contract rearing dairy heifers on the farm, something which also came about as a result of the Agri Academy.
“I would encourage people to apply for the Agri Academy because you do meet new people and broaden your horizons. The connections I made have definitely helped me develop my business and gave me the confidence to achieve my goals.”
Eligibility and how to apply
Applicants must be:
- Not in full-time education
- Registered with the new Farming Connect programme
- Demonstrate good knowledge of Welsh farming and key issues influencing the industry
- Demonstrate enthusiasm and interest in developing a career within agriculture
- Provide one reference from within the agriculture industry (reference can include a member of the Farming Connect delivery team)
The number of applicants varies every year and each course will only accept 12 people so earning a place can prove difficult.
This year’s courses will run from September 2016 to January 2017 with the window for applications closing on the 1 April. To find out more visit the programme website.