Discussion Groups - A Passion and Inspiration

In my early days after University, I worked as a Herd Manager in Staffordshire and was lucky enough to work for an employer who involved me in two excellent dairy discussion groups.  The inspiration and motivation of these groups, run by Tom Phillips and FCG’s Ian Browne, provided me has contributed hugely towards my career in agriculture.  Now running my own dairy business in Dorset, I am a member of an independent dairy discussion group with some of the region’s best operators, all of whom provide each other with support, guidance and criticism in equal measure.  The collective knowledge of any such group is immense and can provide each individual business with far more than could ever be gained from other sources (including consultants!!).

Meetings can involve farm walks to assess each other’s technical performance, visits to non-group members for inspiration and new ideas, summer study tours, benchmarking of technical and financial data to learn from best practice and having outside speakers for more abstract topics.  A well-functioning group will be closely knit and there is no doubt that the support network is valuable when times are tough.  Research has shown that where discussion groups share common financial information it results in significant increases in participants profits.

I am now privileged to be facilitating the Midwest Beef Group, and I can already see that the sharing of ideas and knowledge has had a measurable effect on members’ businesses.

Locally we run one beef and three dairy discussion groups.  The whole FCG team are passionate about this fantastic way to share knowledge, improve your business and get off the farm for a while!

If you are interested in setting up a new discussion group, or joining an existing one, please get in touch by contacting Tom on 07496 760242 or e-mail tommalleson@fcgagric.com