The Business of Farming Conference is a one-day event that brings UK farmers together to inspire, motivate and share solutions to strengthen their businesses.
Organised by Farmers Guardian and sponsored by Farmcare, the event has been researched with a wide number of farmers, from all sectors and regions, who collectively identified the burning business issues they wanted to learn more about.
The day was split into four themes and looked at managing succession, raising finance, the art of negotiation and personal management. The sessions were delivered through a balance of lively discussion and interactive workshops.
Speakers challenged the status quo in a thought-provoking event which put forward practical solutions to the challenges facing the farm business of today and in the future.
Briefing Media’s group head of content Emma Penny said: “We spoke to a lot of farmers to find out what they want to learn about so this conference has been put together to reflect all the things that people have asked for.”
Richard Quinn, chief executive of Farmcare, added: “There’s a huge opportunity to restructure what we do and how we do it and we need to take time out to think about how to build a resilient farm business.”
The Business of Farming Conference 2016 highlights
It remains one of the most contentious issues within the farming industry, provoking fear and frustration from all parties involved. Understand how to address the elephant in the room, begin conversations without accusation and discover how to define retirement within the business. Listen to how one Staffordshire farmer implemented a successful succession plan for his two sons and how one Scottish young farmer braved the conversation with his parents, and achieved interesting results.
Battling with banks can be the source of much frustration, as can securing financial help when seeking new opportunities. In this session you will find out why the banks may say no to lending capital and understand what you ca change to achieve positive results. Discover what alternative funding options are available to fund your next business venture that steps away from traditional high street lending.
The art of negotiation
Negotiation is the skill every farmer needs, whether to secure land, haggle over a new contract or to become more confident at getting what you want. In this interactive workshop you will learn how effective negotiation helps resolve many situations, how you find solutions acceptable to both parties and the different styles of negotiation you can use to work in successfully reaching your goals.
It’s easy to find excuses for not doing, being and having what we want in our life. We may blame others or the circumstances we find ourselves in, yet we often only need to look in the mirror to discover what can be holding us back. In this session you will understand the value of setting goals to safeguard your future and adopt straight-forward techniques to manage yourself and the way you work with others. Discover how, by identifying your personality traits, you can make smarter business decisions, working with your strengths and conquering weaknesses.
Elizabeth Asquith, North Yorkshire
“The conference was a good opportunity for networking and to find out about managing finances. Our family has a small pig and poultry unit but I want to expand and start our own business. The event has been useful for me. Really informative.”
Oliver Scott, South Norfolk
“I’m a farm manager on an estate and I can see that there could be some succession decisions to be made so I came to the conference from that point of view. I’m also looking to segregate the various enterprises on the estate so I was looking for professional advice to take back home with me and it was really useful for that.”
Oly White, East Yorkshire
“I’m from a traditional family farm and we have taken on quite a few rented acres recently. I came to look for new ideas and opportunities, particularly with on financing options for family farms. The networking has been good too.”
Why attend the conference?
The content was researched with farmers for farmers
Hear from motivational speakers from both within the farming industry and outside of the farming industry, offering no-nonsense advice and expert knowledge you can take home and apply to your business
Benchmark your business for success in challenging times
Be inspired by individuals who have grown something from nothing
Listen to fellow farmers talk about the challenges they have overcome and the changes they have made to boost the growth of their business
Return home with a mind full of ideas and practical tips you can start implementing immediately
Matt Bagley, head of agriculture, Newton Rigg Poul Christensen CBE, former Chairman of Natural England, director at Kingston Hall Farm, Oxfordshire Peter Chapman, Aberdeenshire mixed farmer and former Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland director James Eckley, chief executive of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs John Geldard, co-owner of Plumgarths Farm Shop Christine Hope, owner of Hopes of Longtown Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation
Penny Montgomerie, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs Madge Moore, former skills partnership director Lantra Sector Skills Council Emma Penny, group editor of Briefing Media Agriculture Abi Reader, AHDB Dairy farming ambassador and dairy farmer Julie Robinson, partner at Roythornes Solicitors John Sinclair, Owner of Craigie’s Farm Shop Phil Stocker, chief executive of the National Sheep Association Paul Westaway, Owner, Sterling Sires, farmer owner