Five ways to develop your farming skill set

It is important for everyone in farming to develop their knowledge and skills throughout their career.

With so much new technology, research and development in the sector it can be hard to keep up with everything that is going on.

Here’s five ways of keeping you at the top of your game in terms of technical expertise and business management.

See also: How time away from farm can improve performance

  1. Join a discussion group If you can’t afford to spend much time away from the farm, this is an easy way to keep learning from others and benchmark your own performance. Farmers who are part of a successful discussion group report that it has helped them to save costs, reassess their systems or drive improvements in technical performance.
  2. Attend demonstration days and farm walks Companies often arrange useful day or half-day meetings, as do organisations operating as part of the AHDB. They often give you access to some of the best farms in the country and an opportunity to pick the brains of those that run them.
  3. Apply for a Nuffield Scholarship If you can find the time to get away from the farm for longer periods, a Nuffield travel scholarship can prove transformational for your business. They are a big commitment, involving extensive travel abroad, but they are highly recommended by those that have done one
  4. Consider the Worshipful Company of Farmers The company runs two highly respected two flagship courses for small groups of farmers. There is the three-week Advanced Course in Agricultural Business Management run at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester and the two-week Challenge of Rural Leadership course run at the Duchy College in Cornwall.
  5. Log on to Farmers Weekly Academy Farmers, farmworkers and advisers are able to access Farmers Weekly’s e-learning website which enables them to develop business and technical expertise from home.