12 April 1996

RSRdatabase aims to give young leg up

By Tony McDougal

ATTEMPTS to promote more opportunities for new entrants into farming will receive a kick-start this spring with the launch of the Rural Starters Register next month.

A database is being set up by the Tenant Farmers Association, Country Landowners Association and National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs to link prospective young farmers and tenants with landowners.

New entrants will be asked to pay £25 to join the database but landowners and agents will face only a discretionary payment.

John Rennie, TFA director general, said the database would identify the type of farming which interested the applicant, their farming and educational records and future business plans. Land-owners and agents would be encouraged to provide information on opportunities of whole farms, bare land, available buildings, share farming and other joint ventures, cropping and grazing arrangements, and other rural business opportunities.

Mr Rennie said the fee would entitle applicants to have their request put in front of landlords, be made aware of appropriate opportunities, receive mailings from commercial organisations, and reduced prices to events.

Applicants would have the opportunity of an interview by a panel member, chosen by the tripartite organisation, which could help their chances of moving into agriculture or up the ladder.

Ewen Cameron, CLA president, said he hoped the register would attract experienced tenant farmers as well as young entrants. He hoped it would work alongside county council farm estates, stressing they were vital in helping provide farmers with a rung on the agricultural ladder. &#42