The Land Mobility Service has a lot of experience and expertise in the area of collaborative farming, be that a lease, share farming, a partnership or some other arrangement like contract rearing or contract production. This has given us an insight into what works and what doesn’t and the problems that can arise, some are obvious, some less so.
- Agreements and decisions should be documented.
- Decisions based on price alone or price chasing never works out well
- Respect and communication are vital.
Where young farmers have ticked the following boxes, we have found that opportunities open for them:
- Farming skills and experience whether that be in Ireland or abroad together with an ability to demonstrate this experience and track record.
- There is NO example where a person has jumped straight in with a collaborator at a top level.
- The farmer would need to show a track record and career path.Finance is required together with a willingness to invest and take risk.
- Having family, previous employer or existing farmer support is very helpful. There are several examples where such support and backing has made a difference.
- Enthusiasm for and interest in farming, you do not need to own land to be a good farmer, but you do need to be interested and committed.
- Age, experience, and patience. Straight out of college is too early but on the other side waiting too long or being too settled restricts ability to go for an opportunity.
- Being considerate of the needs of the stepping back landowner and his/her family. Remember needs are far more important than wants. Being able to look at things from their perspective is very important rather than trying to tell them what they need or being unnecessarily critical.
- Being very clear as to how you plan to operate the farm and who will be there on a daily basis.
For landowners stepping back is a major and difficult decision, it is not to be rushed. When the right person and farm plan is found the outcome is good. Successful landowners realise:
- Stepping back with a plan is a positive move. A common mistake is waiting too long with both the farm and person deteriorating in the interim.
- Not to over-focus on simple things like ESB, water or insurance. The agreement and facilitator will deal with all this.The new farmer will do things differently, this does not mean wrongly.
- Every farm is different, it is about finding a plan and person that suits you and your farm. There are many options and paths.
- The need to have a plan for their own time and have things to do.
- The Service is there for support. Should things not be going to plan, or there are misunderstandings, or the farmer is not delivering on his / her commitments non-confrontational, early intervention and resolution works best.
Read more detail from The Land Mobility Service 2023 Booklet >>