A dairy cow in a field© Tim Scrivener

Dairy tenants who have been farming for less than six years are being offered a free end-of-year business appraisal by charity Dairy Futures.

The objective of the one-off appraisal visit is to help tenants understand their financial status, equip them with tools to monitor progress, identify areas for improvement and to signpost them to appropriate sources of further help.

“The past three years have proved to be a very difficult time for tenant farmers in the dairy sector and even more so for new entrants, who are still in the early stages of setting up their businesses,” said Dairy Futures chairman and tenant farmer David Homer.

See also: How to build a resilient dairy business in volatile times

“We have been impressed at how the tenants we have been supporting have managed their businesses, kept costs low, focused on what matters and worked hard to be in a position to benefit from improved milk prices.

“These, and other tenant farmers we can assist with the charity, want to progress and expand, but they need to be realistic about their current financial position, equity, resources, potential access to finance and the risks they may take.”

Farmers in Scotland, England and Wales are invited to apply for the free business advice.

Priority will be given to those deemed most in need of support, although it is anticipated appraisals can be offered to all eligible applicants.

Dairy Futures was launched in November 2013 and offers new and expanding farmers, who are either tenants or entering into a contract or share farming agreement, support to get into the industry and grow their businesses.

Farmers can apply for help which includes feedback on their business plans and a chance to attend educational events.

Applications can also be made to a subsidiary of the charity for loans of between £25,000 and £100,000 which can be used to finance breeding stock, cows in milk, parlours, sheds, feed or slurry storage. 

To find out more contact futures@dairyfutures.org.uk or 01926 711 941.