On the hunt for a farming future

Security – now that’s something we all value for our future.

So not surprising a young, Somerset-based entrepreneurial dairy farming couple is advertising for help in relocating a business – built up using capital earned from a 10-year stint as a successful contract milker – from a council-owned holding ear-marked for disposal.

The couple, in their thirties, successfully run a 140-cow spring block calving herd on 90ha (200 acres) supplying a local dairy.

The council landlord has stated the intent to sell the holding on the open market without concession for the tenant when the current FBT ends in two years.

Despite strong support from neighbours and the milk buyer it’s time to plan ahead, say the proactive pair, winners of the county’s Management in Agriculture awards in 2003 and runner up in the coveted Champions’ class in 2004.

The family’s needs are straightforward.

Primarily 90ha (200 acres) plus grassland farm in the South-West with building to house a proposed 20:40 parlour – unless the existing parlour is in good order – and sufficient room whether cubicles or straw yards to accommodate the herd in the event of hazardous weather (to comply with farm assurance as stock grazes outdoors year-round except at calving).

Ideally, most of the grassland should be adjacent to the dairy although an off-lying parcel could accommodate replacement heifers.

In return for an agreeable rent – negotiable to provide a long-term income for landlord and a viable opportunity to develop the dairy business further by the tenant – the couple are offering to sign a 10-year plus FBT.

This would allow an intention to invest capital in to facilities to be justified and written down as part of a thriving, viable dairy business with a focus on maximising natural inputs such as clover-rich swards and good environmental management.

The family’s need for accommodation needn’t be the principle farmhouse – a tidy workers’ cottage or similar for the couple and their two-year-old son would suffice.

Access to local services would be a plus, but again, not essential, they say.

Despite two year’s remaining of the FBT the need to make plans and secure the business’s future is paramount, they say.

Can you help secure their future in return for them helping secure yours?

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