I would class myself as an ‘aspiring’ farmer, purely because I don’t have extensive amounts of knowledge, stock or resources to be able to class myself as a farmer, also it isn’t my full time job (unfortunately).
As I venture more deeply into the world of wellies and waterproofs I can’t help but notice,
Where do people get their support from to farm?
Where do they get the finances from to support their farming?
Obviously established farmers have the support of the local farming community to aid them and likewise will often have a reliable source of income from their farm, but I’m talking about aspiring farmers or newly started farmers, people like myself, people who have the dream and the plan but lack the all-important time or money factor to spare.
Other countries offer incentives and schemes so why cant we?
Canada- Financial Support for Aspiring Farmers– Take a look at what Canada offers!! (green eyed monster appears- relocation??)
I think that when it comes to breaking into a new venture, especially one such as farming, it is a rather vicious circle to break out of to ensure you get your foot (or hoof) on the starting block.
For example, my own vicious circle, I work 6 days a week to ensure I can earn enough money to contribute towards my house, my food and to look after my 6 four legged friends. This naturally takes up the majority of my time meaning that, especially in the winter, renovations or construction of necessary resources to enable me to farm effectively cannot be carried out and it also means that I spend more and more days without a farming life to enjoy and thrive off.
Some of you may be thinking ‘Well if it’s something you really want you’ll crack on!’.
Crack on I do, believe me, but there’s only so much fencing you can do by lamplight on a mountain without snapping an ankle and sorting out my allotment in the near enough darkness? Impossible, how do you tell the difference between Mint and Nettle may I ask?!
Perhaps taking on a farm that needs a fair bit of work was a big step for a young couple, however, shouldn’t someone out there be taking an interest in supporting people like myself? Especially in the current climate the UK is finding itself in, with all uncertain effects Brexit is going to have on the Agricultural Industry, surely supporting people wanting to be self-sufficient should be something worth pursuing?!
I’m not suggesting that extensive amounts of money has to be provided, merely perhaps a help service, a financial scheme, farming financial and business planning, farming knowledge seminars. The possibilities are endless, it would just need to be somewhere people like myself can go to or to join so they can learn and therefore develop their own farms without feeling like a lost sheep (get it?)
This may be seen to be spoon feeding the aspiring farmers which isn’t entrepreneurial or innovative, something which apparently seems to be a very popular concept nowadays, but with farming not only human and animal life is at risk, is it something that shouldn’t be entirely innovative or risky when it a new concept for a person?
In all I think it is a great shame that there isn’t something as extensive a forum or organization for aspiring farmers. It would mean that people like myself who have a large quantity of land to farm to further contribute to the local and wider community could gain the guidance and perhaps financial support they need to make it a reality. Due to the uncertainty of the UK’s future I believe this aspect should particularly become more of a focus.
Besides who doesn’t want to see more like minded people chasing sheep, clad in poo encrusted wellies and waterproofs.