The Rural Consultant Ltd

Michael Mack is an independent consultant for farming and rural businesses who want to face the future with confidence.

Call today for a free, no obligation conversation about your business and ideas.

Michael Mack, independent consultant specialising in farm diversification and succession planning. Working across UK on bringing diversification ideas to profitable businesses.

I trained in agriculture and economics, and over the past 17 years I have built a wealth of knowledge and experience in supporting farmers through some of their biggest challenges.

As an independent consultant I work closely with farming businesses and families to help them to add value to their organisation. My work covers key challenges such as; diversifying income streams, dealing with the family issues related to succession planning, strategic planning and applying for grant support.

My approach focuses on listening to your objectives and goals and helping you through coaching, facilitating or advising to give you the skills needed to bring your project to life.

But life is not all about work: 

Out of work I am a trustee of The Otter Trust, I Chair the Mini's Rugby at North Walsham Rugby Club and I am a  magistrate. During down time you will often find me out walking my dog with my wife and three children.

"We are already very grateful for Mike’s support in coaching and advising, but even more importantly, working on the financial planning and forecasting just when we needed it, drawing on his extensive experience in rural development. He continues to play an important part of our professional team to call on when needed."

Farm diversification, farm retail, tourism, succession planning.


I have supported farms during the planning, setting up and management phases of diversification. My approach aims to give the business owner and team the skills needed to take the business forward.

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Dealing with succession planning can be scary for all involved. Getting support to guide you and the family through the process is a critical step to a successful outcome for the family and business.

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Grant funding and submitting Invitation To Tender can be daunting processes for many farming businesses. Capitalising on over 16 years of experience in a broad range of grants, I will help take the stress out of the process.

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Farm shops, farmers' markets, on site vending and events all offer real opportunities for farmers to add value to their produce and location. But how do you go about it to ensure you make a profit?

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Ideas come from being able to challenge the way you look at a problem. Through running tailored training courses, inspirational presentations to groups and farming clubs, or speaking on conference platforms, I aim to encourage attendees to implement meaningful change within their business.

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Many small businesses often need support at key times to achieve growth. Businesses may be struggling, between managers or looking for some strategic guidance to improve performance, in each of these cases I am able to implement business improvement strategies that achieve improvements in performance.

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Ideas for a successful diversification project, these are real life case studies of Michael's work across Britain.

Old Hall Farm:Planning, Grant Support, Farm Retail

Michael has worked with Old Hall Farm for over 18 months providing strategic support to Rebecca and Stuart. This work began with them when they had just 7 cows and the idea of starting a new farm shop. During this time Michael has written business plans, drafted the planning justification statement and finally helped the family to secure grant funding. The farm shop and café is currently being built, cow numbers have increased and the business is selling amazing raw Jersey milk.
Old Hall Farm

Linda Edwards:Tourism, Planning, Grant Funding

Shropshire dairy farmers, Linda and Roger Edwards, set out to create a new income stream to the farms dairy to enable them to reduce reliance on milk sales. The grant application and planning approval had stalled. Michael was brought in to drive forward the grant application which was secured for a new campsite. Michael then pulled together the planning application process to drive the application forward to a successful outcome. The campsite build is just starting.

Linda Edwards

Long Crendon Manor:Business Planning, Mentoring, Loan Application

Tim and Sue had developed an idea to create a new farm shop, bakery and café on their farm at Long Crendon Manor. Michael was initially asked to build a business case to back up the loan application through the AMC. Through the use of benchmarked data and local research a full set of financial data was prepared and used to successfully secure the loan funding. During the drafting of the business proposal, Tim found that being able to discuss ideas and thoughts through with Michael was a very effective way to both keep the business focused and to make effective decisions. The bakery and farm shop are now open and the café is close to completion.
Long Crendon Manor

Blackheath Farms llp:Irrigation, Productivity Grant, Suffolk, Farm, Agriculture

Blackheath Farm had worked for over a year to review its water security issues and to gain planning consent for a new 150,000 m3 reservoir for its farm on the Suffolk coast. Due to project delays, the opportunity for grant funding under the Productivity Grant was significantly time bound. I was invited to write the grant application and support it through the process with the RPA. The project secured grant support at 40% and is currently being constructed.

Blackheath Farms llp

"Mike worked with us to enable us all to speak about what the farm meant, what sort of hold it had over us and also what we wanted from the future."

2 min read

Conflict is a normal, can you work with it to grow your business?

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1 min read

Why Christmas is not the time to talk about succession for farming families.

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  • Norfolk, England, United Kingdom