15 March 2002

Part-time work inevitable

PART-TIME farming will be the reality for many in the future, reveals farmers weeklys Next Generation Survey.

Nearly half of 16-30 year-olds would be prepared to do their countryside-related job in conjunction with other work, according to the survey, which polled 720 youngsters.

It also shows the huge variety of other jobs that the next generation would be willing to do in tandem with rural work – everything from teaching and engineering to accountancy and being a DJ.

Part-time study is also popular, with more than 7% suggesting this as their possible choice to run in tandem with a country career.

Additional work is a "must" for a lot of farmers nowadays, says 29-year-old Andrew James Green, whose income from welding has enabled him to stay in agriculture.

"Farming goes in cycles – weve been on a downward spiral, but it will come back better than at present. In the meantime, youve got to help yourself."

Having a second income stream is hard work – but its a good investment for the future. "Its something I can always fall back on," says Cheshire-based Andrew.

Others, however, are more reticent about the possibilities of the so-called "farming-plus".

"Farming is a full-time job," says 22-year-old Alan Morrison of Inverurie. "You need all the time youve got to concentrate on that."