Stockperson sought for Cambridgeshire share-farming venture

A stockperson is being sought for a new share-farming arrangement to include 200ha on the outskirts of Peterborough.

The Nene Park Trust is looking for someone with livestock experience who is keen to help deliver its commercial, charitable and conservation objectives.

These include nature conservation, environmental sustainability, education and public engagement.

See also: Joint ventures compared and how they can solve succession

Applicants must be experienced in sheep and/or suckler beef production, have a proven track record within the sector and have access to some capital and/or livestock.

Agreement structure

The Trust is flexible on the exact workings of the agreement, but said it will follow the basic principles of a share-farming arrangement.

The share farmer will provide management expertise, as well as stock to be valued at the start of the agreement.

Land availability is staggered, due to existing ongoing agreements, and will become accessible between the start date and 2023. It includes a stewardship scheme and the Trust is willing to look at part inclusion of the stewardship money.

A Dutch barn is also available, which could be used for storage or upgraded for livestock housing.

The Trust is open to considering joint investment in stock and infrastructure, such as fencing.

Costs and revenue will be split in agreed proportions.

Additional offer

The share farmer has the option to also take on a livestock consultancy role at William Scott Abbot Trust’s Sacrewell Farm for a pro-rata fee.

Sacrewell has a small-scale livestock operation, designed as a visitor/educational attraction.

There is also a house, owned by Sacrewell, which could be provided at a market rate, should the share farmer require it. This is not linked to the oversight of the livestock.

How to apply

Initial enquiries should be made to Josh Crick, Brown & Co agri-business consultant, by 7 February 2020. He can be contacted by calling 01603 598 240 or emailing josh.crick@brown-co.com

Applicants need to provide details of current resources, experience and track record.

The Trust would welcome ideas that took advantage of the 1.8m visitors to its conservation parks each year (for example, through added-value meat sales in the on-site cafes).

Once applications have been received, a viewing day will take place, by appointment only. Then interested parties should submit business proposals, before a shortlist is invited to interview.

Joint ventures becoming popular

Such agreements are likely to be more common in the future, according to Mr Crick, though the details of each will vary depending on the holding’s resources and management requirements.

The structure can be used to share the risk of livestock farming between the grazier and the landlord, he said. As costs and revenues are shared and the land is part of the agreement, the landlord no longer expects to earn a fixed rent, and instead receives a better or worse return depending on how the year has gone.

“It is a useful tool for landlords who are looking to retain a level of control over the grazing practices used on their land, whilst also partnering with experts in livestock management,” said Mr Crick.

“This not only allows better management of the land and livestock, but also means that the landlord qualifies as an active farmer, which is beneficial for tax planning.”

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