22 December 1998
Tenants’ chairman on 1998’s painful memories

By FWi staff

THIS year would have painful memories for tenant farmers – and some would remember it as the year when they decided to quit farming for good, said Tenant Farmers Association chairman Reg Haydon in his Christmas message to members.

The year has been no better than 1997, as the farming community were forced to seek help from the Government for an industry buffeted by exchange rate difficulties, world market recessions and over regulation, he said.

Mr Haydon welcomed the Governments £120 million package of support to the industry, but said that it could only provide a little relief to a much greater problem.

“Clearly the Government had to concentrate on what we all saw as priority areas, but with virtually every sector in free-fall, obviously some otherwise deserving sectors were left out,” said Mr Haydon.

For many, 1998 would have painful memories and some would see it as the year when they finally decided to leave agriculture after having enough of low returns, high Government expectations and over-regulation, he said.

“1998 was certainly a year full of protest and disgruntlement and I can understand that there is the desire to forget.

“However, all of us with an interest in this vital industry must find a better way forward through 1999 and into the next millennium,” said Mr Haydon.