Our Courses

2019 CRL canoe
It wasn't all classroom work on the 2019 Challenge of Rural Leadership

The WCF educational programme

A key goal of the Company is to develop the skills of everyone involved in the farming industry, especially the development of leadership and management skills. The Company where appropriate, through its Charitable Trust, can provide substantial financial support to students to attend its educational courses.

In summary our current education portfolio consists of this range of offers you can download a copy of this chart here WCF 2019/20 Educational Portfolio

For more information about any of our courses please contact the Chairman of the Education Committee, Mrs Karen Mercer - karen@kjmercer.co.uk or the Assistant Clerk, Duncan Couper - duncan@farmerslivery.org.uk.

Course dates

Choosing the right WCF course for you

Our range of courses has been gradually evolving and developing to the point where we now offer and support a portfolio of courses. Each course has been specifically designed or selected to offer delegates the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities in the company of others of a like mind and purpose.

Whichever course you choose you can be sure it has been organised to create the environment and stimulation needed to enable you to fully express your potential. By advancing your education and personal development and by giving you the tools to help you analyse and deal with the many issues in your particular work place and in the wider world of agriculture, we aim to put you in a position to not only achieved your personal goals but to make a significant contribution to the industry as a whole.

One of the strengths of the Worshipful Company of Farmers’ courses, especially the Advanced Course in Agricultural Business Management and the Challenge of Rural Leadership, is the inclusion of delegates from around the world with mainland Europe and Australasia frequently represented.

The Worshipful Company of Farmers is proud to promote the range of courses indicated below. For each course you will find a brief synopsis on this page and more details, including everything you need to know about applying to join a particular course, how to apply for financial assistance etc on the course page which can be accessed via the menu to the right.

Advanced Course in Agricultural Business Management

RAU Cirencester - Gloucestershire
Commenced 1963
Under the tutorage of Kieth Barriball

While attending this three-week residential course, individuals will develop an understanding and awareness of strategic issues likely to affect their own business. They will learn management and leadership skills and develop analytical techniques to help them decide how best to take their own businesses forward in future.

There will be work to understand how to focus on the key issues associated with managing agri or food supply chain business and the business environment factors both nationally and internationally. Delegates also gain greater insight into the political, financial and environmental challenges affecting the future of rural industries.

The learning is provided through case studies, by working in teams and by interaction with a wide range of very senior and highly respected visiting speakers.

This is an ideal course for owner managers of a farm or agri-business.

Those who have had an Advanced education – university (but not essential)

Age 26 years plus, to 50 years or thereabouts.

Challenge of Rural Leadership

Dartington Hall, Devon
Commenced in 1992
Under the tutorage of Richard Soffe of Rural Business School, Duchy College.

Runs for 2 weeks and aims to develop the personalities and business acumen of the delegates by addressing media training and group discussions which help with self-confidence and communication. Additionally, visiting influential speakers cover policy and their own leadership styles.

Delegates can share their experiences and develop mentors and friendships that have been demonstrated over the years to offer considerable on-going support.

The course, as well as appealing to practical farmer also serves a useful training for policy makers, journalists, advisors and consultants.

Those who have had an advanced education – university (but not essential)

Age 26 years plus to50 years or thereabouts.

Cranfield Business Growth Programme

Cranfield - Buckinghamshire

Designed specifically for the development of owner-managers, the Business Growth Programme helps you create the future you want for your business and for yourself.

This programme provides a unique opportunity for you to step back from the day-to-day demands of running your business. By the end of the programme you will have developed a comprehensive and robust strategy and a plan for the future.

Delegates in attendance are from a wide spectrum of businesses.

Delegates generally own or manage a with businesses that has been in operation for 3 or more years, with a staff of 5 to 50 and a turnover between £0.5m and £20m

Late 20’s years and over – no upper limit.

Cranfield MBA

Cranfield - Buckinghamshire

The MBA programmes are designed to help the delegates to develop robust leadership skills and acquire a broad range of management tools and techniques. The graduates are in demand in the fast-moving world of business, where management skills are often at a premium.

Delegates from a wide spectrum of businesses have successfully completed the Cranfield MBA.

There are two study options, you will find them outlined below. The first is a one year full time MBA and the second a two year, part time Executive MBA .

Both MBA courses are for inspiring executive managers. Age 35 plus no upper limit.

One year full time MBA

This is a general management programme with a focus on practical real-world learning and leadership development. It is consistently ranked among the best MBAs in the world. This programme is designed for professionals with at least three years' work experience and suits people who:

  • Recognise that business success is about people, about collaboration, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence
  • Want a 'real world' business education where learning theories, tools and techniques are complemented by learning to apply them in genuine business situations
  • Are motivated to become better leaders, team players and individuals, and who are committed to developing themselves and others.

Two year part-time Executive MBA

The unique MBA Executive programme, delivered in partnership with Grant Thornton combines the best of academic insight and commercial application. This is used to help you develop your leadership and management skills with a specific focus on business growth and innovation.

The Executive MBA is especially designed for middle managers wanting to move into a senior management role and those on a fast-track career path within their organisations.

Businesses increasingly seek strategic thinkers with sound leadership capabilities, strong financial skills, an entrepreneurial mind-set, global understanding and excellent people skills. The Cranfield Executive MBA, delivered in partnership with Grant Thornton, will take you out of your comfort zone and transform you to reflect, question and find solutions to complex business challenges.

Adopting Precision Technology in Agriculture

Harper Adams University
Commenced 2019
Under the tutorage of Simon Thelwell

There is growing interest throughout UK agriculture in the potential benefits associated with the adoption of precision agriculture technologies, techniques and methodologies. Indeed around 60% of UK farmers already use some sort of precision agriculture on their farms.

There can be no doubt that there are many benefits, including reduced input costs (e.g. fertiliser, seeds, fuel, water, fuel) as well as the potential for increased outputs and greater control of potential environmental impacts.

Never-the-less many farmers are still cautious about adopting these approaches.

Our new course, run in partnership with the undisputed academic leader in this field - Harper Adams, aims to provide a straightforward and practical connection between farmers and those developing and promulgating the latest precision technologies by filling the gap between research, science and technology and the farmers who might use new technologies.

The course will enable delegates to use information from their own farms and to test the viability of adopting new approaches and offers the opportunity for delegates to develop a “Precision Vision” for their own business over the duration of the course.