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Leisure, travel, charity events, social gatherings; the Island’s business community with their suits off. AGRICULTURAL EVENT EXPLORES CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FACED BY YOUNG FARMERS IN 2019 Barclays and Rural Business Consultancy Limited, a local company dedicated to working with farmers, landowners and new small businesses, have co-hosted an agricultural event to explore the challenges that local farmers face today and reflect on how to prepare for the future in the Isle of Man. Nearly 120 people attended, including farmers and members of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA). To discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by the local farming industry, Gareth Rowlands, relationship director for Barclays in the Isle of Man, was joined by Oliver McEntyre, Barclays UK National Agricultural Strategy Director; Chris Kneale, of Rural Business Consultancy; and two young farmers from Wales, Tom Jones and Rhidian Glyn. The event explored the proposed UK Agricultural Bill, which will replace the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) once the UK 46 | leaves the EU, and analysed what this means for the local industry. Ultimately, farmers at the event were advised to focus on the areas they can influence. Farm management styles vary, and while there are many variable factors such as weather and Brexit to be aware of, businesses are better placed for growth if they focus on controllable factors, including business effi ciency, investigating other markets and products or strengthening the business by introducing a variety of projects. Mr Rowlands said: “Agriculture is vital to the Isle of Man’s economy. It’s encouraging to have an event where we can bring farmers together to learn from each other, explore the issues they face and discuss ways in which these can be overcome.” Mr McEntyre, added: “The agricultural sector is experiencing challenging times. We heard from remarkable young farmers who have overcome a range of challenges and are working hard toward a sustainable future for their businesses.  “Brexit, the rise of different dietary trends and global markets will mean those businesses that are open to change and turn challenges into opportunities are the ones who will undoubtedly thrive into the future.”