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Harper Forum: Tony Evans of The Andersons Centre

Posted 21 October 2011

Mr Evans with Harper Forum members

By Rosa Malseed, Harper Forum Reporter

This week’s Harper Forum welcomed Tony Evans from farm business consultants, The Andersons Centre. 

Mr Evans is a former Harper Adams student and has been with The Andersons Centre for the last 10 years as a partner consultant. 

He began by explaining to the Forum how important it is to concentrate on the farm’s core business and not to diversify, but “to do well at what you are good at.”

Even though Mr Evans is a consultant himself, he added that farmers have no need for additional support and that the skills and knowledge should come from in-house: “if they are not adding value, there is no need for them.”

Mr Evans spoke about opportunities available to help those without a family farm. These are -

  • Contract farming/ management
  • Tenancy
  • Partnership
  • Agronomy/shadowing etc. – gaining knowledge to farm

He said that it is important to work and communicate efficiently with people to get the maximum output, and to make sure that both parties’ objectives are compatible.

Relating to one of his own clients, Mr Evans spoke about contract farming with older farmers who are unable or do not wish to work any longer and have no one to inherit. 

This has many advantages for both parties as the farmer/landlord can still see their farm being used, while the contract farmer gains knowledge and can start with very little to make profit and therefore capital. 

Livestock contract farming is becoming very popular as people are living longer but don’t want to continue working. Mr Evans said that is very important to focus on lifestyle as “it is not hours that create the success, it is what you do with those hours.”  

Simon Telfor will be at the Forum next week to discuss opportunities at Branston Ltd, including the graduate scheme.

Harper Forum is a society run by and for students to encourage debate about rural matters.

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