Farming and crofting families offered support

CROFTERS and livestock farmers in Caithness, Stranraer, and Ullapool are being offered help to grow their profits.

The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) and The Prince’s Countryside Fund are running a series of workshops over the winter offering free business training.

“With farming and crofting facing particular challenges at the moment, this programme – which is completely free of charge – offers farming families a very valuable opportunity to really focus on their businesses and identify where savings can be made and profitability improved,” said Carol McLaren, chief executive at the RSABI.

“Very importantly, the structure of the programme workshops also offers farmers and crofters the opportunity to sit down for a meal together and share experiences and ideas.”

The Farm Resilience Programme said 73% of farmers who have taken part reported improved business skills and 58% reported increases in profitability, with an average profit increase of more than £9,000.

“This is a tried and tested practical programme involving a series of workshops during autumn, winter and early spring,” explained Keith Halstead, executive director at The Prince’s Countryside Fund.

“The workshops cover areas such as benchmarking and improving on-farm efficiencies to reduce cost, as well as planning for the future and business planning.

“The programme has shown to increase the confidence of farming families in their decision-making which enables their farm enterprises to become more adaptable and helps build their resilience to change.

“We are very much looking forward to the meetings getting underway and we also plan to have an additional summer workshop [that] will be on a topic chosen by the farming and crofting families involved.”

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Plus, don’t miss Keith Kingland’s Arctic tern article in the October’s luxury issue of Scottish Field magazine.