Southern Regional College was successful in securing £45,600 from the Prince's Countryside Fund (PCF) to provide a range of relevant practical business skills to young farmers.
The aim of The ASSET Programme is to provide accredited training to members of farming families, equipping them with the skills required to diversify and create a supplementary income to their current farming business, improving farm sustainability and encouraging farmers of the future to remain within the industry.
The project is targeting young farmers within the southern region of Northern Ireland, particularly those who live in the border areas, those in isolated areas such as the Mourne mountains and those who for various reasons are unable to attend agricultural college.
The project will provide locally based training to include accredited business training and accredited vocational training. Support will also be given to participants through business and equipment incentives, sharing models of best practice and ongoing business support.
The farmers will cover topics relating to business planning such as marketing, identifying sources of funding, developing business plans, understanding agri- business legislation and policy and how to keep financial and other records. The vocational training provided will be specific meet individual business needs and relate directly to their planned area of diversification for example AI, hoof trimming or spraying.
The Prince's Countryside Fund gives grants to projects that help support the people who care for the countryside. It is supported by a unique collaboration of businesses working together to secure a sustainable future for agriculture and the wider rural economy. PCF grants aim to improve service provision in rural areas, support rural enterprise, support farming businesses, and provide training opportunities for young people and educating people about the value of the countryside.
To date the PCF have donated £3.87 million in grants, supported over 87 projects and helped more than 64,000 people since 2010.