NEW opportunities are opening up for training in farming and rural skills in the Torridge area.
The programme, Harvesting For The Future, will offer courses in beef rearing, dairy youngstock, food and hygiene and infectious diseases.
The courses are organised by Torridge District Council with Bicton College, Penbode Vets, Kivells, Holsworthy Town Council, the NFU, Cornwall Farmers, Coodes, and Harpers Home Mix to produce a mixed training programme which will be based in the Holsworthy area.
The subsidised programme is for farmers or land based businesses, providing resource to help improve safety, productivity and performance and training for future generations in the industry.
"It will make sure people living and working around the Holsworthy area have easy access to training," said steering group chairman Mark Ley.
"These people work long hours and find it difficult to take time away to attend training courses in Barnstaple, Exeter or beyond.
"By bringing the training to them, Harvesting For The Future will make it easier for farmers, woodsmen or people from other land based industries to develop their skills in order to meet changes in British and European laws, as well as face the challenges of working for or running modern rural businesses."
Director of Enterprise at Bicton College,Chris Lorimer, added: "This is a unique opportunity for the farming community, developing skills for the future in North Devon, and will enhance the current knowledge and capability of practicing farmers in an area of the county which sometimes gets forgotten.
Torridge District Council leader Barry Parsons, leader of Torridge District Council said: "It's hopefully a forerunner of what's to come in the planned new agri-business centre."
The courses are subsidised by up to 50 per cent for anyone who lives or works in the Torridge area. Courses will be held in the Holsworthy area.
Contact Bicton College on 01395 562347 for Foundation Certificate in Food Hygiene on November 19. Contact Penbode Vets on 01409 253418 for Dairy Youngstock – November 21; Infectious Diseases – December 5; Beef herd basics – January 16.
More courses are planned for the New Year.