Would-be tenant farmers in Northumberland to receive coaching from the NFU

Agricultural body offers advice for those interested in securing mixed arable/livestick farms and developing upland farming businesses

A rural farming scene
A rural farming scene

Twelve would-be tenant farmers in Northumberland could benefit from specialist coaching being organised by the NFU.

The training is designed to give potential tenants the best chance of success when bidding for a farm, by providing access to specialist information and advice as well as the chance to practice putting together and presenting a tenancy bid.

Two three-day sessions of coaching are planned, the first one in October being aimed at people who are looking to secure a mixed arable/livestock farm.

The course is based around Simon Henderson’s farm at West Fenton, near Wooler, with the programme spanning three days, each with their own distinct focus.

On October 21, to begin with, an initial Briefing Day will include sessions with NFU tenancy expert Lucinda Douglas, NFU taxation specialist Michael Parker and Armstrong Watson Accountants,

October 28, then, will be a Practical Day, aimed at giving participants the chance to tour the farm and identify key aspects to be addressed in the tenancy bid.

Finally, on November 19, a Presentation Day will be held, seeing participants face formal interviews conducted by the NFU and land agents George F White.

They will then receive feedback on their bid and tips for getting the best result from the interview process.

Lucinda Douglas said: “Applying for a tenancy can be a nerve-wracking business. Competition can be fierce so it’s really important to understand what prospective landlords are looking for and how to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

“This ‘dummy run’ will give people the chance to try preparing a bid and going for interview before they have to do it for real. The approach will be very practical, offering useful tips and a wealth of information on how to prepare and present your case.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for anyone serious about getting their foot on the ladder as a tenant.”

The NFU champions British farming and provides professional representation and services to its farmer and grower members, of which there are around 55,000 across England and Wales.

It is estimated that more than 70% of full-time farmers in the UK are NFU members.

Part-funded through the Rural Development Programme for England, supported by Defra and the European Union, the tenant farming training courses are being provided at a significantly reduced rate of £50 per person.

Early next year, the NFU will cater for those considering developing an upland farming business.

Anyone interested in taking part should email richard.potts@nfu.org.uk


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