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Free training offered on wide range of subjects
ORGANISERS of a scheme that offers 100 per cent free training to farmers and rural workers in the uplands are urging more to come forward.
The 12-month project began in March and has proved worthwhile for those who have taken part.
The organisers believe many more could benefit and have urged them to make the most of the opportunity available.
The skills training programme involves experts from Strutt & Parker, Eblex, Adas and XL Vets, and is funded by Europe through the Rural Development Programme for England, which is managed by Defra.
Simon Britton, of Strutt & Parker’s Northallerton office, said: “The programme is for people who have 50 per cent or more of their land in the Severely Disadvantaged Area (SDA) or people who spend the majority of their time working in the SDA, such as contractors and keepers who may not live in the SDA but who work there.”
The training covers a vast array of subjects but is very much farmer-led with the organisers open to suggestions.
General headings are: farm management; health and safety awareness; land and environment; flock performance management; and suckler cows and calves.
Mr Britton said many of those who had taken part had gone on to advanced training in the topic, or taken the opportunity to update their skills in other areas.
They have ranged from farmers’ wives who look after the office work and recordkeeping, to farmers of all ages – including three in their eighties getting to grips with online submissions.
Farm management includes basic IT, finance and business management.
Farmers can use their own farm accounts to gain a better understanding of the business. It identifies the income and costs and helps spot where efficiencies can be made or business opportunities taken.
Other topics include agricultural tenancies, succession and retirement planning, wills and death duties, tax, insurance, diversification and employment law.
Health and safety covers everything from using ATVs and tractors on hills and dealing with hill breeds that are less used to handling, to mental health, animal diseases and biosecurity.
Spray training has proved particularly popular because of the plan to end “grandfather rights”.
Training on land and environment includes the single payment and agri-schemes, dry stone walling, improving in-bye land, responding to climate change, woodland establishment and management.
Flock performance covers breeding and EID to tup health and preparation.
Training for suckler cows and calves includes calving and rearing, foot health and bull health, nutrition, housing and muck management.
Mr Britton said: “The project is due to end in March next year and we are keen to let people know there is all this free training available.”
It covers the uplands from Derbyshire to Northumberland.
Courses planned for August and September include PA1/2/6 spray training; importance of cashflow and budgeting and dry stone walling. Courses take place at Leyburn, Skipton, Middleton- in-Teesdale, and Bakewell.
For full details and to register, contact Helen Stahl on 01609-780306, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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