A CUMBRIAN not-for-profit farmer support organisation has been praised for ploughing on through the challenges of the last year.

The hard work in delivering services and projects was highlighted during the 11th annual general meeting of the Cumbria and Yorkshire Dales Farmer Network.

Held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, current Network chair, Randal Raine of Outhwaite Farm, due to connectivity issues, handed over the reins for the evening to Network managing director Adam Day.

In a statement read out by Adam, Randal said he would be standing down as chair during 2021, but pledged to remain involved with the Network. He remained confident that the Network would continue to deliver support for the farming community, whatever the challenge or opportunity.

Members were told that Network turnover had only fallen by 2.6 per cent, leaving a surplus of £18,267 which would boost company reserves.

Whilst the results were better than expected, there was cautious word of warning from senior operations manager, Donna Gough, saying that 2021 was likely to be much more financially challenging for the farmer Network.

On a pleasing note, farmer membership continues to rise, and thanks were offered to corporate members and sponsors for their continued support.

To close the meeting Veronica Waller, senior project manager, gave an overview of the many and varied support projects in which the Farmer Network is involved.

Several organisations across the North of England are now looking to partner with the Network as a trusted delivery organisation for the farming community.

This will certainly help the Network to achieve its goal in helping farmers, their families, and their businesses, whatever the challenge or opportunity.

The agriculture industry is now entering a transition period towards new Environmental Land Management policies. This at a time when farming and food production is much more in the public spotlight.

The Farmer Network Ltd is an independent, not for profit organisation providing help and support to nearly 1,200 farmer members throughout Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales.

For more information about the Farmer Network, call 01768 868615 or e mail: info@thefarmernetwork.co.uk.