A Farmer’s Life – Through Rose-Coloured Glasses?

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A recent study by The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) has suggested that the public’s view of the life of today’s farmers is a long way from the truth.

Around 25% of those adults who took part in the study said that they found the idea of giving up their day jobs to go and work on a farm an attractive proposition, having what would appear to be an idealised view of living close to nature and making a comfortable living at the same time. When asked to estimate the annual wage of a farmer, the average came out at just over £46,000 pa, with some even guessing at £75,000. A far cry from Defra’s calculated average of around £20,000!

In reality, more than half of farmers today have to supplement their incomes by doing other things alongside the traditional farming role; and with so many dairy farms now closed and fewer and fewer young people coming into the industry, the future of farming in the UK sits under a cloud of uncertainty.

The PCF concludes that more needs to be done to educate the public on the daily challenges of those working in agriculture, and to enable a better understanding of what it means to be a farmer in modern-day Britain. Better links between the industry and the consumer, they suggest, can help to create awareness and promote British farm products.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

 

New Farm Resilience Scheme Launched

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In conjunction with National Countryside Week, a new support scheme for small farms has been launched by The Prince of Wales.

The Prince’s Farm Resilience Scheme has been developed in response to the vulnerability of small farms in the UK, many of which are under threat due to the current volatility of the industry.  The scheme will offer free business support, one-to-one guidance and practical help to those most in need in farming today.

The Prince himself has expressed concern over the possibility that many small family-run farms are struggling to survive and says this is one of the most far-reaching programs in his Countryside Fund.  Farmers and their families can take advantage of advice on business and lifestyle, as well as attending workshops to better equip them to assess their positions.  Many may have to make potentially life-changing decisions about the future of their businesses if they are to survive, and the scheme aims to provide them with the tools to do so with confidence.

The scheme is set to start bringing small farm businesses on board from September 2016; more information can be found from the Prince’s Countryside Fund. http://www.princescountrysidefund.org.uk

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.