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Generational renewal is a priority

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The discussion paper, recently released by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) as part of the ongoing public consultation on future agricultural policy options, provides in-depth analysis on how through which more young people can commit to a future in agriculture.

Land Mobility Program Director John McCallister believes this is a very positive development.

He explained: โ€œThe current policy review gives agriculture as a whole a unique opportunity to establish new support measures that will allow it to grow and develop in a sustainable manner for many years to come.

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โ€œAnd the renewal of the generations will be an important part of the plans put in place for the future. Young people bring with them great enthusiasm, energy and new ideas.

โ€œIt goes without saying that the agriculture industry must do whatever is necessary to nurture the brightest and best young minds in the industry. “

Meanwhile, the current land mobility program will continue in its current form, at least until September of this year.

Thinking back to 2021, John describes the year as a year that really stood still: starting nature.

He explained: โ€œThe Covid-19 restrictions, especially those reintroduced after Christmas 2020, have hampered the organization of face-to-face meetings.

โ€œIt’s only possible to build relationships to a certain extent through Zoom meetings. Final arrangements can only be negotiated following actual farm visits and physical meetings.

“That said, the number of deals between older landowners wishing to establish long-term working relationships with young people entering the industry has grown at a steady rate throughout 2021.”

John confirms that the land mobility program has encouraged a significant number of farming families to start discussing the issue of succession at a much earlier stage than before.

โ€œThis is reflected in the number of inquiries that I am currently receiving,โ€ he said.

โ€œIt is also evident that the vast majority of farmers nearing the end of their working careers wish to see their businesses passed on to the next generation and maintained as active businesses.

โ€œIf this cannot be achieved within a family group, Land Mobility can act to help find young people with the right skills and attitude, able to take over the management of the business with full respect. wishes of the owners.

John continued, โ€œI am also available to sit down with any farming family and advise on all aspects of succession within their business.

Going forward, John hopes to once again organize individual land mobility counseling clinics at the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) offices in Northern Ireland.

He commented; โ€œThese have worked extremely well in the past. Obviously, any future meeting can only take place once the current threat of Covid has receded sufficiently. “

The objective of the Land Mobility service is to facilitate collaboration agreements adapted to each specific agricultural business situation.

These arrangements can be as simple or as complex as desired. They must be achievable for all parties involved and can be inside or outside the family or a combination of both.

In many cases, it is envisioned that the arrangements will evolve over time, to help develop dynamic, progressive and profitable agricultural businesses.

Last September, Land Mobility reached a decisive stage in its development when the number of young people wishing to benefit from the program outnumber older farmers offering land or wishing to develop a new partnership, long-term rental or others. commercial agreements.

John McCallister again: โ€œThis development reflects the real demand that exists among young people to develop careers in production agriculture.

โ€œThe average age of farmers in Northern Ireland is still too high. The good news is that the land mobility program is making a real difference when it comes to offering younger people the opportunity to develop sustainable careers in different agricultural sectors.

Meanwhile, the Land Mobility Program Manager believes Stormont’s executive can do more to facilitate enhanced generational change in agriculture.

He explained: โ€œOne obvious way forward is the introduction of tax changes that will encourage the establishment of new working relationships between farmers who wish to retire and young people seeking long-term rental or other business relationships. with older landowners.

John added: โ€œTaxation is not a devolved issue, so decisions will have to be made by HMRC in London to give the land mobility program the boost it needs.

โ€œIf we had a scenario where the income from renting land could be used tax-free by older landowners, who have entered into a long-term rental agreement with a younger farmer, this could transform the means whereby large areas of land can be kept in productive use.

“Such an arrangement could provide the senior with a very valuable retirement pot, while also allowing the younger person to develop a sustainable and long-term business enterprise.”

John concluded: โ€œSubstantial tax changes have been introduced in the Republic of Ireland, all designed to encourage young people to develop careers in different agricultural sectors.

“To say that we need a similar approach to be taken here, and across the UK as a whole, is obvious.”

Below are the ground mobility connections for January 2022. If any of these opportunities interest you, contact John McCallister (photo). Phone: 07833 668602 or e-mail:[emailย protected]

Breeder of 170 cows looking for a farmer apart. The farm has the capacity to significantly increase the number of cows. Good block of pasture and walkways. Farmer open to shared farming / benefit sharing arrangement options. This would allow a mix of farmers apart from bringing more cows to the farm. An excellent opportunity ……. Co Antrim

Herd of 160 cows nearly 10,000 liters on average. Good show and high yields on robot. Good grazing block. The farm has sheep and a small number of suckler cows. Farmer interested in sharecropping or profit sharing type. Great opportunity as a farmer keen to start the transition and take a step back ….. Co Tyrone

Farm of over 200 acres of very good land. Former dairy farm so more than 250 cubicles and no milking parlor but could be replaced. Farmer currently running a beef business but wishing to take a step back and very open to options and eager to offer an opportunity to a young farmer ……. Co Down

Main farm of 60 acres with over 200 acres of farmland. Good housing and handling facilities for livestock. Farmer looking for options and happy to have help on the farm with land use and sheds. Good suckler / bovine and sheep farm ……. Co Londonderry

Superb poultry unit looking for a young farmer for a joint ownership / profit sharing operation. Excellent opportunity …. Co Londonderry

Farm for long term rent. 150 cabins, milking parlor and milk tank. Good quality accommodation. Suitable for pasture or housed system. Good long term opportunity …. Co Tyrone

Possibility of starting. Role of assistant farm manager on a herd of 450 grazing cows. Possibility of keeping 40/50 of your own cows on the farm. Great way to gain experience in grass-based dairy farming and build equity in animal husbandry. Accommodation at the farm ……. Co Limerick

Young farmers looking for:

Breeder of additional and / or contract dairy heifers. Unit of 130 cows probably needs accommodation and summer pasture for 100 heifers in total …… Co Armagh

Breeder of additional and / or contract dairy heifers. Would love summer housing and grazing for over 100 heifers in total, but could start with smaller numbers and increase over time ….. Co Londonderry

Additional land for arable business under long term lease. Invest in the land, regularly analyze the soil, strengthen the soil structure, crop rotation and work the land in the best conditions. Young, experienced farmer who runs a successful farming business. Eager to make a long term deal to keep both parties safe …… Co Down / Armagh

Land and housing suitable for a large number of dairy heifers. Would also consider a heifer breeding agreement if the farm is suitable and the farmer wants to manage a dairy heifer. A good opportunity for an old dairy farm with good accommodation and boxes ……. Co Down

Long-term land for arable businesses. Will invest in land. Grown winter cover crops in improved land and very keen on a long term deal to allow investment in land ……. Co Down

Land, possibly for arable crops mainly for personal use and help with slurry. Would consider different options from a long term lease to a farm sharing agreement …….. Co Down

Arable land under long term lease. Invest in the land, regularly analyze the soil, strengthen the soil structure, crop rotation and work the land in the best conditions. … Campsie / Eglinton region

Young farmer and family are looking for a dairy farm to rent or share in a milking arrangement. 130 dairy and follower cows on a year-round calving system. Average 27 liter cows on grass – Preferably in County Antrim.

Young farmer and family are looking for dairy farm for rent. Milking parlor, box and slurry storage … North Antrim.

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