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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Navigating the Changing Policy Landscape – Survive or Thrive Sharing Opportunities and Success Stories

Two North of England farmers will share the stories of their inspirational success in farm diversification at a free on-farm evening at Church House Farm, Potters Lane, Samlesbury, near Preston, on Tuesday 28thFebruary.

Hosted and Chaired by Virgin Money’s Head of Agriculture, Brian Richardson, the evening will offer farmers from across the north west an invaluable insight into the real experience of well-known farmers Olly Harrison and Ian Pye in their quest to create a sustainable future for their family farming businesses.

Both farmers have taken advantage of the many government grants and funding opportunities that encourage investment in diversifying and broadening farming enterprises. Olly Harrison, Olly Blogs Agricontract Farmer, will do a talk entitled,  My Farming Opportunities, and Ian Pye of Old Holly Farm near Garstang will talk about Farm Diversification and his own Farm Journey. 

During the evening, Simon Haley of SRH Agribusiness Consultants will explain the fast-moving range of current and future grants available for diversification and development, and highlight crucial deadlines farmers need to meet to capitalise on these potentially life-changing funding opportunities.

Brian Richardson sees Olly Harrison and Ian Pye as perfect examples of what can and must be done across the UK agricultural sector if farming is to survive and thrive. “I would passionately urge every farmer in the area to come along and listen to Olly and Ian’s stories. They’ve been there and done it, they’ve experienced the successes and the pitfalls, they have a huge amount of practical and helpful advice to offer, and their energy and optimism is inspirational.

“Olly and Ian are innovative, progressive farmers who have seized every opportunity to develop their farming enterprises and diversify. We have supported many farming families like theirs over the years and I hope very much that this open evening will show many more farmers that we can help them develop a broader farming business that gives them much better prospects for the future.”

Olly Harrison farms nearly 1,500 acres near Prescot, Merseyside, in partnership with his parents. On this mainly arable foundation the 40-year-old farmer has taken every opportunity to build a diversified business that now includes solar and biomass energy generation, commercial office space, holiday lets, and Air BnB. He has also built a highly successful YouTube channel with 20,000 followers, adding another growing income stream to his expanding business.

Ian Pye also has a large and growing following on Facebook and Instagram, watching his unfolding story on the family farm near Garstang in Lancashire. Ian has transformed a traditional dairy operation into a diversified dairy based business which now includes rural business office rentals.

The evening is free, and guests are welcome from 18.30 onwards, with speakers starting at 19.00.

A Hotpot supper will be served at the end of the evening.

Anyone wishing to attend can register including guests by emailing:

[email protected] or [email protected]



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