Young farmers encouraged to check out partnerships
Young farmers should consider putting viable partnership proposals to older land owners as a means of getting a start in farming, delegates at Macra na Feirme's national conference were told over the weekend.
The president of the Agricultural Consultant's Association, Mike Brady, said pride and fear were the main reasons why elderly farmers were reluctant to let their land.
However, the Cork-based consultant said if young farmers were willing to put concrete proposals to landowners that were based on sound business plans, then greater access to land would be secured.
Mr Brady told the conference, which was held in Carlow, that these plans would have to deliver "security of income" for both the land owner and the farmer.
Pride and fear were the emotions that young farmers had to play on when seeking to set up a partnership arrangement, Mr Brady added.
If a farmer felt that his holding was being well farmed and looked after, then he could take pride in the lease that facilitated this arrangement, he explained.
The question of land access and the increasing age profile of Ireland's farmers dominated much of the debate at the conference.