Last year I wrote a post about Business mentoring and asked the questions:
Who are the mentors for the agricultural industry?
Where can young or not so young people in the industry find independent and appropriate advice and support?
One year later I am still asking myself those questions. If you are a young farmer going into the industry where can you access knowledge and experience to stop you “re-inventing” the wheel? I have always been an advocate of The Princes Trust and how they help young people starting out with a business, hoping to develop a community project or just seeking to get back into work. Maybe they could have a role?
The Fresh Start Initiative that aims to offer assistance to those developing new farming businesses and is a college based scheme. and has moved a long way in twelve months. However, I feel that we also need to have a network of facilitators that can help to set up farming discussion groups/continuous learning groups. These groups would be practical, informal, hands-on and self-driven. Discussion groups are springing up in all regions of the country, but it would be good to have a network of people that can help start the groups and work with them to set the foundations. Perhaps Defra would provide initial funding for such a project?