How old is too old to farm? Join the debate?

The suggestion that farmers should retire at 60 is one likely to have farmers across the country choking on their morning cup of coffee.

But the motion for debate in the Oxford Union at this year’s Oxford Farming Conference (5 January) is “This House believes that all farmers should retire at 60”.

It is a controversial topic – but the organisers of the event know that. “The motion is sensitive and emotive and I’m fully expecting some heated exchanges of views,” said conference director Jack Ward.

On the day there will be Joanne Moss, a barrister at Falcon Chambers, proposing the motion and opposing it will be Andrew Densham CBE, former senior partner at law firm Burges Salmon and current chairman of RABI.

Seconding the legal heavyweights will be Douglas Jackson and Katherine Sealy, respectively, both office holders with the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

As a warm-up for the official debate Farmers Weekly has asked figures in the world of farming to share their views on this issue. We too have found two farmers to back the motion and two to oppose it.

Read what they’ve got to say and then tell us what you think on the forums and give us your final verdict by voting below:


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