THE Penrith-based Farmer Network has this month notched up a milestone.

The not-for-profit organisation has achieved for the first time in its 16-year history an impressive membership figure.

The organisation has revealed that its Cumbria membership has exceeded 1,000 farmers.

It aims to support farmers and their businesses through delivering a range of services and other member offers.

Richard Martin farms at Great Orton, and is both a director and chair of the Cumbria Farmer Management Council.

He said: “The network has always been about sharing technical and business knowledge between farmers, but I’m also keen in future that being part of the network brings with it an element of fun during these challenging times. A growing membership and a strong dedicated team means we can offer more to members in future”.

The Farmer Network also supports a Yorkshire Dales Network and is keen to help farmers in other counties explore the possibility of creating their own network.

The agriculture industry is currently entering a time of unprecedented change, where future government funding will only support farmers to embrace environmental schemes to deliver public goods.

Managing director Adam Day says “We’re delighted to achieve a membership milestone, but it is a telling factor that the farming community now needs more support in a changing world.

“Farming, food production and the environment must work in tandem and our aim is to support our members through the current minefield, whatever the challenge, whatever the opportunity”

Formed in 2006, the Farmer Network is a grassroots membership organisation with an experienced team of knowledgeable people used to dealing with most of the queries and challenges experienced by farm businesses.