In this blog post, Charlotte Middlebrook, a member of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire Management Board, explains why the group’s Autumn Debate is all about adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.
Like many industries, agriculture is facing a challenging period of change. Many forces beyond our control are impacting businesses, such as Covid-19 and the phasing out of government payments.
Whilst these challenges are making business futures more uncertain, some, when viewed with an entrepreneurial mindset, can hasten new opportunities and open exciting doors for rural enterprises.
As the granddaughter and daughter of arable and livestock farmers, I have witnessed the challenges of sustaining food production during a national lockdown and mitigating the impact of extreme weather this year, along with business succession issues arising from the sudden death of my grandfather.
As a family, we have had to carefully manage dairy market volatility following the recent temporary closure of the catering sector, sourcing packaging has proved difficult and we have had to meet increased demand for free range eggs.
We have also worked hard to ensure the survival of our tourism diversification business, Mackinder Farms Holiday Accommodation.
Testing circumstances such as these are not uncommon across our industry and they only serve to emphasise just how important it is for agricultural entrepreneurs to be well-equipped to look to the future with renewed vigour and ambition, and to ensure their businesses remain financially secure, profitable and relevant in the changing economic environment.
With an entrepreneurial mindset, the challenges before us can be converted into exciting new opportunities.
For these reasons, on the evening of Wednesday 11th November, Future Farmers of Yorkshire, a network supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society to bring together younger farmers, vets and industry professionals, will broadcast entrepreneurial success stories during our first live-streamed virtual Autumn Debate.
We hope this will help fuel the ambitions of Yorkshire’s next generation of farming leaders and while we will all miss the beer, bacon butties and the chat that usually accompany our events, it will be good to get together again, albeit virtually!
Why you should tune into our Autumn Debate
This live event will offer ‘Top tips for Keeping an Entrepreneurial Mindset’ and will share the hugely diverse experiences of entrepreneurial success of a highly respected panel of businessmen and women from the worlds of farm retail, business consultancy, pollination control and auctioneering.
Sharing their thoughts with a live audience will be – pictured above:
- Hannah Senior, a Nuffield Scholar and Managing Director of PBS International
- Charlotte Wells-Thompson, Co-owner of the award-winning Bert’s Barrow Farm Shop in Hillam near Leeds
- Victoria Robertshaw, Founder of Keelham Farm Shop and owner of Delicious Planet Consultancy;
- Tom Best, Auctioneer and Art Advisor at The Auction Collective.
Helpful takeaway messages
We will discuss what having an entrepreneurial mindset means, and running through tips, tricks and lessons learnt by our panel of speakers.
We will hear first-hand how they have converted their own challenges into beneficial opportunities in order to inspire our Future Farmers to navigate their own ways through the evolving economic landscape.
Future Farmers of Yorkshire brings together some of the best thought of leaders and cutting-edge industry professionals to share expertise throughout the food supply chain with its 1,000-plus members.
With this aim, please join us on Wednesday 11th November 2020 at 7.30pm for our Autumn Debate by registering your details here and help us to press on with our mission to develop the best of Yorkshire’s farmers to be the leaders of UK agriculture.
Read more: Dairy farmers awarded RABDF bursaries