Mentoring service for new entrants launched

Snowy farm landscape
Norette Ferns

New entrants to farming are being offered a free one-to-one mentoring service as part of the new Farm Advisory Service, which launched earlier this year.

The mentoring programme pairs new starters in farming or crofting with experienced farmers to share expertise in farm and business management to help overcome the financial and technical challenges of setting up a farm or croft.

Mentors will support new farmers and crofters as they set up, develop and grow their businesses and will provide essential guidance to help achieve long-term success.

If you have set up a business in the last five years this support is available to you.

Caroline Wood, one-to-one programme manager for the Farm Advisory Service, said:

"No one is better placed to support new entrants to overcome the challenges of starting out in agriculture than experienced and successful farmers and crofters in Scotland.

"That is why, in addition to providing financial support, we are building productive partnerships between young and experienced farmers to help new entrants lay the foundations for profitable and sustainable businesses. Only by combining the entrepreneurial spirit of new farmers with the skills and expertise of seasoned professionals will we secure long-term sustainability for Scotland’s agricultural sector."

An applicant to the mentoring scheme will be paired with a mentor whose skill set directly matches the new farmer’s specific business needs and ambitions. Typical skills that mentors offer include:

  • Detailed knowledge and experience of agriculture and running farm businesses
  • A mastery of traditional skills such as stone walling and hedge laying
  • Land-based educational and skills background
  • Food and drink industry experience
  • Finance and business planning know-how
  • Surveying and planning skills

For more information on the mentor programme visit the Farm Advisory Service website where you can also find out how to receive funding to set up and develop a successful farm or croft.