Business and Economy

Tenant Farmer Training Academy helps grow success

red cow facing

Posted on: 15 March 2019

Tenant farmers on Devon County Council’s farms estate are being given a helping hand to grow their businesses as part of an exciting new training programme.

Free evening classes for the tenant farmers are being delivered in partnership with the Prince’s Countryside Fund over the next two months. Held at the Devon Rural Hub in Cheriton Bishop, the sessions cover topics from managing finances, business planning, grant funding and countryside stewardship to interview and presentation skills, land tenure, employment law and health and safety.

Cllr Richard Edgell, Devon County Council’s Chairman of the Farms Estate Committee, said:

“Agriculture is an integral part of the Devon economy and the value of our Farms Estate is in providing the opportunity for people to get into the farming industry. It’s the first rung on the ladder and we want our tenants to be successful and eventually move on from our farms to bigger and better things.

“We are enormously proud of our tenant farmers and what they achieve. They all have the extra enthusiasm and drive to make their small starter businesses thrive and we want to do all we can to support them in this.

“This programme will help make sure they are well equipped to expand or diversify their businesses in order to get on to the next step of the farming career ladder, particularly with a view to being attractive prospective tenants for other larger estates. But competition for tenancies is fierce, and securing a larger tenanted farm is extremely difficult as demand significantly outstrips the number of farms available.

“This training will ensure that our tenants are even better placed to strengthen their businesses and secure tenancies of larger farm. Moving on from our estate also means there are more letting opportunities for new entrants to enter the industry, ensuring local food production continues to grow for the future.”

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said:

“Strengthening your farm business is increasingly important in this period of transition. The Fund is delighted to be working with Devon County Council to offer these business skills workshops, based on our successful The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, and we look forward to seeing these businesses thrive as a result.”

 James Dyer moved to North Ground Farm, Milton Abbot in March 2018 where he runs a sheep flock on the 113 acres alongside pheasant rearing as a diversification enterprise. James said:

“The two training sessions I’ve attended so far have been really engaging and full of useful advice that I will be able to put into practice as my business grows at North Ground Farm.  It has also been great to get to know other tenants on the Estate and build up contacts.”

2 comments on “Tenant Farmer Training Academy helps grow success

  1. Neil says:

    I am very interested in land stewardship near Exeter as I have an Eco-project that I would like to start that will help to reduce, reuse, recycle in Exeter & Devon
    So please call Neil on: 01392 342406.

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