Tackling the problem of succession
THE hunt is on.
Cultivate Farms from Albury NSW is leading the call for 100 farmers to put their hands up to get involved in addressing the problem of succession that is affecting the nation’s rural sector.
For most people, the dream of being a farmer is out of reach because of the excessive capital needed to buy a farm.
For older farmers with no family successor, who want to step back but see their farm and community continue, the options are also limited.
Cultivate Farms is working on an answer to these problems by searching for “100 farms in 100 days for 100 aspiring farmers”.
Backed by the Regional Australia Institute, the move requires 100 retiring farmers to sign up to a succession planning solution to bring aspiring farming families back to rural, regional and remote country towns.
The national winner of the RAI’s Lightbulb Moments competition, which helps regional people turn their bright ideas into reality, Cultivate Farms aims to match aspiring farmers, with farmers stepping back and investors – to own and operate a farm together.
“As passionate advocates for regional Australia we believe we can bring hundreds of young people back onto farms, into communities and back on the netball and football field,” said Sam Marwood, Cultivate Farms’ co-founder.
A panel of judges including Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash chose Cultivate Farms to receive project development and mentoring support from the RAI and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.
“As the national winner, Cultivate Farms helps to fill the massive gap in the farm succession planning crisis and gets young farmers onto their first farm,” Ms Nash said.
“Keeping Australian agriculture strong, profitable and sustainable means we need a new generation of farmers.
“Access to capital to buy farms has been a long standing issue for the next generation starting out, but Cultivate Farms tackles this challenge head on with its novel and innovative skills development and farm-matchmaking approach.”
Cultivate Farms now aims to scale up, actively seeking expressions of interest from farmers.
“We want to connect with 100 retiring farmers in the next 100 days, so we can bring more young, aspiring farming families back to rural, regional and remote country towns,” Mr Marwood said.
“If that’s you, or someone you know, we want to hear about it.”
The other Lightbulb Moments winners were: Get a Rural Life, Healthy Tasmania, Heathcote Dementia Village, Pointer Remote Role, Rhythm and Ride, Rural Health Connect, Smart Small Towns, the Australian Girls Esteamme Collaborative and This Farm Needs a Farmer.
Paul Marwood, the co-founder of Cilivate Farms, the platform linking investors with young farmers, and his young family.