14 April 2000

Idle rich should leave dairying

RICH farmers who leave their sons in charge of the family farm should get out of the industry, a leading milk quota agent has claimed.

Ian Potter, of Ian Potter Associates, described "senior farmers who are well-heeled and have left their sons at home to farm" as potential weaknesses in the dairy sector.

The success of three new co-ops formed after the break-up of Milk Marque is threatened, Mr Potter told a Welsh Dairy Club conference at Carmarthen. "To succeed they must cut out the dead wood and get rid of the dinosaurs to be lean and mean. The new organisations, unlike Milk Marque, must carry no passengers. So, move over, dinosaurs, retirement beckons, let some new kids on the block."

Similar people were scattered throughout farming organisations, Mr Potter claimed. They moved around like chess pieces that nobody was able to knock off the board. Their sons did not want them back on the farm and the industry could well do without them.

With the dairy industry in crisis, Mr Potter said those involved should aim to be above average in performance and below average in debt. Uncertainties should be seen as exciting challenges and must not promote gloom, doom and defeatism.

"The industry is full of opportunities. You must have spark, energy and embrace the challenges. I am convinced dairying will remain one of the most profitable farming enterprises and provide a good income for those who are business-like and work hard." &#42