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Support package for enterprising young farmers up for grabs through Harbro initiative

By Hector MacKenzie

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Harbro’s beef and sheep director David Mackenzie on his farm near Insch, Aberdeenshire. Picture: Michael Traill
Harbro’s beef and sheep director David Mackenzie on his farm near Insch, Aberdeenshire. Picture: Michael Traill

A YOUNG Ross-shire farmer who has taken on a new enterprise is being offered the chance to secure a major package of support.

‘Backed by Harbro’ will see the leading feed company select and work with two of the country's most promising farmers, who have recently taken on a livestock farm, providing advice and nutritional products to help support the performance and profitability of their businesses.

David MacKenzie, Harbro beef and sheep director, said: “We are focused as a company on driving improvements and efficiencies, while future-proofing not only our customers but, the livestock industry as whole. As a business, our approach is driven by leading academic research that informs the advice we pass on to our customers who are crucial to the nation’s food supply chain.

“Encouraging new entrants to farming, particularly the younger generation is vital to the livestock industry. We have a fantastic team of trusted advisors, specialising in nutrition, which is full of excellent talent and we want to connect and help develop the next generation of farmers who are going to have the future of agriculture in their hands."

The scheme targets farmers aged 18-40 who have recently stepped out on their own "by giving them the tools to build a progressive, profitable business". Mr Mackenzie said: "We also want to demonstrate that farming is not just a viable career option, but an attractive one as well.”

Backing over a year-long programme includes nutritional advice and support; livestock enterprise benchmarking through Glasgow Vet School; sustainability and futureproofing guidance; industry mentoring and £3000 credit on a Harbro account.

The firm has also teamed up with leading industry influencers who will mentor the chosen farmers, offering them a unique insight into the wider food sector and meeting environmental challenges.

This is designed to create greater understanding around the needs of retailers and the wider supply chain, helping the young farmers adapt their practices to meet the needs of the industry.

Mr MacKenzie said that as part of the programme, the two farmers would have access to leading industry professionals and producers who can help set their strategy for the future.

He said: “In our experience, it’s often the next generation that are open to looking at things differently and are happy to be challenged. That is why they are so vital to the future of the industry and it is why we feel it is so important to support them in their journey.”

For more information and to apply please visit: www.harbro.co.uk/backed-by-harbro/

Deadline for entries is June 27.

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