Three farmers have won the use of a piece of New Holland farm machinery for a year as part of a competition run by the Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF).
The charity teamed up with New Holland to help new entrants get “Up to Speed” with their farming businesses.
Donald MacSween, Rob David, and Abbi Mason have each won the use of a New Holland machine for a year – a telehandler, a T6 tractor and a Boomer 40 compact tractor, respectively.
The three beat off competition from up to 50 farmers to win the use of the machinery for a year.
The scheme provides cutting-edge machinery to young people, new entrants, or those who will make a difference in their local community, but would otherwise not have access to this type of farm machinery.
Mark Crosby, New Holland UK & ROI marketing manager, said: “We are extremely proud and pleased to lend our machines to Donald, Rob and Abbi. Their passion for their businesses really showed during the process, as well as their great capabilities as self-starters.
“We hope they will be able to make the most out of our machines, helping their business grow and succeed, while also supporting their local communities.”
The PCF and New Holland plan to run the Up to Speed scheme again in early 2021. Find out more a online on the Prince’s Countryside Fund website.
Case study: Donald Macsween, Isle of Lewis
Donald Macsween, from the Isle of Lewis, swapped his job with the local authority to become a crofter and has built up his crofting business to be a full-time job.
He has 500 laying hens, 150 breeding ewes, Gloucester Old Spot pigs and some Highland cows.
He said: “I have been dreaming of a telehandler for a few years, but I haven’t been able to afford one. This will make such a difference to me and my neighbours – we can now be much more efficient and safer in the work we do. I currently have a 40-year-old tractor, so I will have to get up to speed with how technology has improved.”
Case study: Rob David, South Wales
Rob David, 22, is from South Wales and has won the use of a T6 tractor. He set up his business with just a handful of ewes whilst studying for his A-levels, persuading his teachers to buy his meat boxes.
Over the past five years his business has grown, and Rob now sells directly to pubs, restaurants and local supermarkets.
He said: “The use of the tractor over the forthcoming year will enable me to take on more and bigger blocks of land further from home, allowing me to hopefully to expand my flock and reach my business targets.”
Case study: Abbi Mason, Wales
Abbi Mason, who runs Big Meadow, a community-supported agriculture venture in Gower, Wales, has won the use of a Boomer 40 compact tractor.
She said: “We are in our first year of operation, aiming to provide 50 households with a weekly organic veg share from July this year. Having access to the Boomer will give us the best possible start, enabling us to cultivate the beds exactly when we need to for optimum soil health.
“We will be hosting twice-weekly volunteer days, as well as working with local primary schools, youth and community groups to provide educational field days – exploring the value and importance of locally grown food.”