AN event aimed at exploring the opportunities and challenges faced by many farmers today attracted a crowd of more than 120 people at Hexham Mart.

The Future Proof Farming event was a collaboration between Armstrong Watson accountants, business and financial advisers, Hay & Kilner Law Firm and Barclays Bank, and offered free advice on managing an agricultural business.

Guest speakers included Robert Craig of Peepy Farm and director of First Milk; Adam Day, managing director of the Farmer Network; Alison Hall, head of rural and private clients at Hay & Kilner, and Oliver McEntyre who is national agri strategy director at Barclays Bank.

Experts offered advice on economic predictions for the rural economy, capital taxes, diversification and succession planning to help secure agri-businesses for future generations.

Mr Craig discussed the importance of understanding “what you’re doing and why” and how it’s important to ensure your business model is robust enough to survive the unexpected.

Head of Armstrong Watson accountants’ agricultural division, Andrew Robinson, offered an overview of understanding how accounts, profit and cash flow can help agricultural business owners make the right business decisions.

He said: “We all recognise it’s not easy operating a farming business during these uncertain economic times and we wanted to dig deep into some of the most pressing issues and look at what action fellow farmers can take now – and in the future – to ensure their agricultural businesses succeed and prosper for many years to come.”