A major new initiative from the CLA could help thousands of young people get into farming. Hoping to encourage more young people to consider share farming, the CLA aims to tackle head on concerns that more than half of England’s farmers are now over 55 years old.
Share farming is a simple idea – an existing farmer allows someone to work part of their land and in return they both share any profit or loss. It works as a partnership and there is no need for a tenancy or rental agreement. This approach allows a young farmer, who is enable to buy their own land, to get a valuable starting point in their career.
Share farming sees both parties sharing the risks and profits on a pre-agreed percentage of land, and in that way differs from traditional contract farming. Share farming is seen as a middle ground, avoiding the need for a farmer to decide to be either in or out of the business.
As well as giving young farmers a way into the industry, share farming is also an ideal solution for older farmers who want to wind-down, while still sharing the profits and retaining some control of their land. Share farming also provides benefits for inheritance tax planning.
The CLA has produced a free guidance booklet, which outlines the key aspects of share farming. It is available from CLA regional offices or its website www.cla.org.uk.
Phil Reed is a partner and head of the rural services team at Stephens Scown and is a member of the CLA’s national committee on legal affairs and property rights. To contact Phil, please call 01726 74433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.