This is the Rural Business Network update published on 22nd March 2021.

It’s officially spring!  It’s lovely to see lambing in full swing and it’s been dry enough for Peter and the boys to do some land work ready for sowing.

I’ve welcomed lots of new members these past few weeks and it’s great to see the network grow.  Members stretch from the Scottish Highlands down to Devon and from Anglesey across to Norfolk.  The vast majority are farmers who have or who are considering diversifying and there are also businesses in membership who can help support this.  Farm and farm-based business membership is £5+VAT per month which gives you access to member-only events, our Facebook group and a weekly e-Newsletter with useful information, and me!

Over the past 2 weeks there have been 2 Rural Business Network events.

On Thursday 11th March Dairy Vet of the Year 2020, Sarah Tomlinson explained how to Identify TB risk on farm and protect our business from the impact of a breakdown.  Sarah had me engaged from start to finish and I learned a lot in a small space of time.  If you ever have the opportunity to hear Sarah speak, I urge you to take it.

On Tuesday 16th March, member Andrew Wattsford, from Wattsford Commercial Finance explained the different options of raising finance and what we need to have in place before we approach a lender.  This was an incredibly useful session for members, and I’ve had some fabulous feedback from members.

There are 3 member-only events coming up over the next couple of weeks: on Tuesday 23rd March we have a marketing advice session for members to ask specific questions to marketing expert Hayley Parker from Flame Marketing.  Hayley will provide members with actionable advice there and then. 

Flame Marketing is a marketing agency created specifically with rural spaces and customers in mind.

We will be celebrating our 1st Anniversary as a membership organisation with a Meet the Members evening on Thursday 1st April.  A really informal session to celebrate members’ success and find answers to problems.

Looking ahead, on Thursday 11th April the 2020 British Farming Awards Diversification Innovator of the Year winner, Andrew Jones, together with daughters Gemma and Larissa, will explain how they have gone from milking cows to running a bespoke glamping business Rakery Retreat.

To be inspired by the challenges the family has overcome and to hear about their successes and plans for the future, join Rural Business Network now .

That’s it, thank you for listening.  Take care, stay safe and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Rural Business Network logo 22nd March 2021