In adversity comes strength for farming community
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There may be many uncertainties, but Bruce Masson, Partner at MHA Larking Gowen, is optimistic about the future of the farming industry.
As I write, it's still raining, the country is in political turmoil, which may or may not be settled at the polls on December 12, and the outlook for farming businesses remains uncertain. Not many reasons to be optimistic! However, when I speak to my clients, friends and fellow rural professionals, I'm reassured. Why?
The disconnect between rural communities and the rest of the country appears wider than ever and is polarised by the current political climate. What the rest of the country don't see is the hard work, daily problem solving, resilience, creativity, adaptability, innovation and sheer determination to get the job done.
For an industry which accounts for 2pc of the country's workforce, the message to the metropolitan masses is largely unheard and, sadly, often ignored. Damage caused by torrential flooding gets 15 minutes of tv coverage but may lead to 15 years of upheaval for the affected landowners.
Political uncertainty hinders the issues being brought to the mainstream and will unfortunately continue to dominate the landscape.
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I'm fortunate to work within a team of nearly 50 agricultural specialists, mostly from a farming background. We've had to adapt in recent years to advise, assist and implement our clients' innovations and business plans.
The aim for all businesses is to be passionate about what they do in the most effective way. This typically involves reducing costs where possible and better use or sharing of machinery, personnel or assets.
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Diversification projects require substantial investment, but the returns can be rewarding for well thought out plans, whether it's holiday accommodation, swimming pool letting, drone technology or a safari park. The options can be limited by geography and resources, nevertheless the ideas and innovation keep on coming.
Adversity in agriculture is ever present, which is why the strength of resilience of the farming community will continue to exist. The uncertainty of Brexit, the removal of Basic Payment Scheme support and climate change all weigh heavily on the industry.
Farmers need to future proof their businesses in the best way and work sustainably and efficiently. It won't be easy, but we're working with creative, innovative and, above all, resilient businesses: which is why I'm optimistic.
For more information contact Bruce Masson on 0330 024 0888 or visit www.larking-gowen.co.uk
This article is designed for the information of readers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, information contained in this article may not be comprehensive and recipients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice. "MHA Larking Gowen" is the trading name of Larking Gowen LLP, which is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (LLP number OC419486). Where we use the word partner it refers to a member of Larking Gowen LLP. © MHA Larking Gowen.