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Forty delegates with farming business interests gathered in Melton Mowbray at the end of last week to hear speakers from three of the East Midlands region’s leading professional services firms as they shared their views on the challenges and opportunities for the farming & rural sector as it heads in to the second quarter of the year (2023).

The Farm Update was co-hosted by Duncan & ToplisThe Andersons Centre and Shouler & Son and was held on the 3rd March at the Synsonby Knoll Hotel in Melton Mowbray.

At a time when businesses with farming and rural interests are facing major changes affecting central funding and diversification opportunities - as well as existential questions about what future farming is for - matters of policy, diversification, tax implications and strategic business planning were addressed by representatives of the three professional firms as well as a guest speaker from HSBC.

Tim Harris, Professional Associate at Shouler & Son who shared the platform as a speaker, discussed how best to avoid the pitfalls of farm diversification. Both the question & answer sessions and the networking lunch that followed the seminar provoked keen interest from attendees.

He said, “The overall theme of the topics addressed by each speaker was clear. We are a year into the Ukraine war and its influence is being felt on farming businesses, not least in terms of rising input costs. Farmers need to think laterally to mitigate against not only these recent impacts, but also those on the horizon. For example, the reduction in area payment subsidies will soon change the face of farming as we know it today, with ever increasing importance being  placed on environmental schemes and activities.”

“Diversification therefore offers farmers the potential and opportunity to not only mitigate against these impacts but to add value and grow. However, there are a plethora of pitfalls that farmers can fall into without the right support in place – so they should be sure to seek professional advice at an early stage!”

For more information on Shouler & Son’s rural services and the latest professional advice contact Tim Harris, email, tel 01664 560181 or see