‘Dairy course bursary has helped me take big career step’ – Luke Upton

Luke UptonIn this blog post, Future Farmer Luke Upton explains how his career is benefitting from a bursary place on the RABDF’s Entrepreneurship in Dairying Programme.

I have been farming my whole life. My parents are county council tenants and during my early career I worked on a few intensive farms.

My passion however has always been milk produced from forage.

It is an interest that has seen me travel to New Zealand and spending time working on a 720-cow unit in Canterbury.

Closer to home, I’ve worked on split block units in Newcastle, West Yorkshire and Staffordshire.

Last year I applied for a place on the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) Entrepreneurship in Dairying Programme.

I had lots to learn about the financial side of farming and I wanted to ensure I was prepared for the rigors and responsibilities of running a profitable dairy farming business.

I was delighted to be accepted and to receive a bursary from the Future Farmers of Yorkshire, supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Engaging and thorough

The Entrepreneurs in Dairying course aims to provide participants from all areas of the dairy industry with knowledge to take their businesses forward, or to have the confidence to start their own venture.

As 2020 was an unusual year, the course was delivered online rather than face-to-face. However, the delivery of the course was very engaging.

A line-up of top-class speakers did everything possible to give us with the best online sessions they could.

The course ran for 10 weeks, with a session each week on different areas including people management, tax and trading structures, finances, business planning and succession planning.

Each session was in-depth and interesting, providing a wealth of knowledge from speakers who were very experienced in their respective areas.

A personal favourite of mine was the people management session. We had our personalities profiled and learnt all about how to better engage and work with people of different personality types.

Having completed the course, I have a wealth of knowledge and resources available to me going forward in my career.

I now have a long list of contacts from within all of the dairy industry who I can turn to if I ever need advice.

The course has also given me contact with like-minded people in the form of my course mates, who I can bounce ideas off or talk with about similar problems we may be facing.

Taking big strides since

My partner and I have just secured our first farm business tenancy and I believe the Entrepreneurship in Dairying course has given me the tools and the knowledge to do so with much more confidence.

The course has helped me in all areas of the application process, from business and management planning to budgeting and completing cashflow forecasts for the prospective business.

Without having completed this course I feel I would be far less equipped to make the next step in my career.

I recommend the RABDF course to anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of the dairy industry and take their career forward. Applications are now open to attend the 2021 course via www.rabdf.co.uk/entrepreneurs-in-dairying.

Take a look and go for it!

Read: Free farm business training to help with transition

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