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Lizzie, Martin and the Prince's Farm Resilience Programme

The Prince's Farm Resilience Programme (PRFP) participants, Martin and Lizzie Clough feature in a new video launched by the Prince's Countryside Fund.

Martin and Lizzie run a mixed beef, sheep and arable enterprise near Spilsby and are undertaking the free business skills programme organised in Lincolnshire by LRSN.

In 2018, following a visit by HRH Prince Charles to Louth Livestock Market, LRSN was asked to co-ordinate and deliver the programme that includes a series of seven workshops which focus on different business skills to maximise profitability and resilience. Topics include business planning, understanding accounts and budgeting, as well as exploring new farm and business opportunities.

Alongside this every farm has the opportunity to use a Business Health Check Tool to look at their strengths and weaknesses and benchmark costs against similar farms as well as one to one on-farm visits to help and support them to put their plans into practice

The programme brings together like-minded farms in local groups and gives families the tools to evaluate their viability and long-term sustainability enabling them to make informed business decisions on their future direction.

Speaking on the video, Lizzie said: "I don't know of anywhere else that offers a course like this, of programmes where you are creating a little community, a discussion group, that's specifically organised. It definitely is different to anything I've heard about; I don't think there are any other opportunities like this and its free. You will enjoy it and you will learn from it without realising it. It was ever so good and I would definitely encourage other people to take part in the Programme."

The Prince's Farm Resilience Programme focuses on different business skills to maximise profitability and resilience, including business planning, managing finances and managing change including future-proofing the business. It is being facilitated by Julian Tatam, a farm consultant and former Barclays Bank agricultural manager and is delivered by experts from organisations including Andersons, Saviour Associates and local farm business advisers who are members of the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators, IAgSA.

Watch Lizzie and Martin as they talk on Facebook about some of the benefits of the PRFP to their business, here.

LRSN trustee and farm business administrator, Della Armstrong added: The programme has provided 20 farming families with the opportunity to realise that communication is key for all the generations of the business, which will help enable those challenging decisions to be made about the future for all involved. LRSN's support for the PFRP is another way to help farming families to try and alleviate stress and therefore improve their mental health. It helps them to gain knowledge and the confidence to look closely at their costs and business structures and can only be a good thing. Running a family farm isn't just about good management skills, it's about building resilience, whether that's in the structure of the farm business or in the family's mental and physical health; being stronger to face the future."

Find out more about the Princes Farm Resilience Programme, here.