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Young Farmers See A Bright Future In Scottish Agriculture

Twenty members from the Scottish Association of Young Farmers' Clubs (SAYFC) have completed the associations second Cultivating Leaders Business Programme after a gruelling six days.

Designed to support Scotland's future leaders by armouring them with as many skills and networks as possible, the members all between the age of 19 and 28 were asked to look at their personal and business goals with the support from industry partners.

CKD Galbraith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ledingham Chalmers and Campbell Dallas covered topics on finance, business planning and management, benchmarking, tenancies, succession and wills. Whilst facilitator Heather Wildman challenged the group to look at their own personal skills, networks, motivations and ambitions.

Completing the course on Friday 20th January, members where challenged to deliver a presentation to industry partners, friends, family and course sponsors Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government.

Some key outcomes presented by the members during their presentations included:

  •  Make the most of your time
  •  Farm businesses should be seen as a business everything is for sale
  •  Good staff are important, a good team behind you is crucial
  •  It is important to generate your own roles in a family business
  •  The more planning you do, the luckier you become
  •  Work life balance is fundamental don't be a busy fool
  •  Take time to step away from the business regularly
  •  Putting down a plan on paper helps give direction and should be shared with others

Discussing what they had achieved, many of the group commented how prior to the programme they were losing enthusiasm or feeling slightly pessimistic with the agricultural industry but now felt optimistic and reassured there is a bright future for youth working in the sector.

National Chairman Stuart Jamieson commented:

This is the second year of Cultivating Leaders, a course which I believe has fast become the real shining star in the SAYFC calendar. Selected from an application process, each member was chosen based on their potential to appreciate the opportunity and make the best use of it as possible. And that they have done.

It has been very encouraging to hear from the delivery partners just how focussed and enthusiastic the members have been and how keen to learn they were, while still maintaining a healthy ability to have a good laugh at the same time.