A host of specialists from across all sectors of the agriculture industry will be among the keynote speakers in the second year of Myerscough College’s Young Farmer’s Leadership Academy.
Following a successful first intake last year, just a few places remain for the next course, beginning next month. The Academy is an inspirational leadership course, and has been designed especially by farmers and agriculture lecturers at Myerscough College to give the appropriate skillset to the next generation of young aspiring farming leaders. The course aims to develop leadership and management skills leading to a more strategic approach to farm business development.
The Young Farming Leaders Academy (YFLA) consists of six two-day modules in the areas of Leadership & Management, Human Resource Management, Farm Business Management, Farm Innovation and Supply Chain Management, Business Strategy, and Marketing & Social Media Reputation. Each module includes an evening meal with after dinner speaker and an overnight stay to facilitate networking and leadership skill development. Each module will start at 1.00pm and finish at 3.00pm the following day and will include a range of guest specialist speakers together with farm visits.
The Young Farmers Leadership Academy lasts for a total of 60 hours. The course is non-accredited, but a Certificate of Attendance will be awarded on completion of all six workshops. This will be recognised by the industry as evidence of continuous professional development in leadership and management skills.
To be eligible to participate on the programme candidates will be expected to have at least five years agricultural experience and feel that they would benefit from a course on management and leadership skills. Entry onto the programme will be by informal interview with the Course Director.
Keynote speakers on the course confirmed so far include Dr Kay Carson of Streamline Farm Management. Kay will be delivering the principles of lean manufacturing and how to deliver higher production efficiency, maximise value in every activity and seek a culture change across the business which creates the conditions for continuous improvements.
Heather Wildman from Saviour Associates is another confirmed guest speaker who will deliver a talk on Vision, Collaboration & Communication. Saviour Associates Ltd was formed in July 2014 to provide farmers, growers and agribusiness clients access to sound unbiased advice, coaching and mentoring.
Duncan MacKenzie will be leading the first training event. He is a former military officer and an independent consultant with twenty years leadership and management training experience, working in the National School of Government delivering training to Senior Civil Servants and facilitating events for the Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet Office as well as numerous other organisations.
Human Resource Management, recruitment and selection of staff will be covered in another module. Who better to deliver this than Kim Stafford of U&I Learning Ltd. Set up in 2002, Kim has works as a management coach, trainer and facilitator, and has 20 years of experience specialising in change management, developing management and leadership skills and managing service quality.
Other specialist module speakers include: Rob Hitch, partner at Dodd & Co Accountants; and Carl Hudspith, Communications Director at the NFU.
Evening speakers confirmed include Phil Halhead from Norbreck Genetics; Oliver McIntyre, National Agriculture Strategy Director for Barclays Bank; and John Blackett, Director at Golden Acres Pet Foods.
Andrea Gardner, Business and Projects Development Manager at Myerscough College, said: ‘’Successful applicants to the programme will have a Level 3 or A Levels qualification or equivalent experience, at least five years full-time agricultural experience and some management responsibility within a farm business. Importantly there will also be a desire to further develop management and leadership skills.
‘’Participants should come prepared to be challenged – this sessions will be stimulating, thought provoking and highly engaging!
Thanks to generous support from the Princes Countryside Fund, the cost of the course is heavily subsidised, and is inclusive of accommodation and board on all study days.
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by Dave Salmon