Tack­ling the prob­lem of suc­ces­sion

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - Front Page -

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Paul Mar­wood, the co-founder of Cili­vate Farms, the plat­form link­ing in­vestors with young farm­ers, and his young fam­ily.

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