A Mid Wales farming couple who plan to take semi-retirement from the industry are so keen to help new entrants into the industry that they have asked agents to find a young farmer to take on part of their farm.
Neville Owen has farmed at Ty Newydd, Cefn Coch, near Welshpool, Powys since 1959, when he was just 17-years-old.
Today, at 74, he and his wife Niki have decided to take semi-retirement, placing 110.8 acres of land and the use of two farm buildings up for let through Mid Wales and Shropshire property surveyors and estate agents, Morris, Marshall and Poole.
But they have specified they want a “young farmer” or entrant to the industry to have first call and will let the land on a short term farm business tenancy for 24 months initially, with the opportunity to extend this in the future.
Neville said: “I’ve farmed here since I was 17 when my parents bought the farm. It’s been my life and remains so but we’ve decided to take a bit of a step back.
“It’s difficult for young people to get into farming, even members of farming families can struggle, and so we want to do something to help. We’ve asked the agents to tender part of the farm out, with two farm buildings as well as farm sheep handling and husbandry equipment and the possibility of either leasing or buying up to 300 breeding ewes.
“But we’ve stipulated that we’d like someone either entering the industry, such as a young farmer, to have first call. It’s a chance for them to get on the ladder into an industry that is pretty difficult to start off in nowadays with the price and lack of farms available.”
The couple will remain at the farmhouse and will continue to work the remainder of the farm, but on a lesser scale.
They have some Texel breed ewes they will continue to breed and are offering 300 Speckle and Welsh Mules breeding ewes for lease or sale as part of the tenancy.
Tom Davies of Morris, Marshall and Poole, said it was a perfect opportunity for someone.
“This is a great opportunity for someone in the early stages of their faring career or just entering it to get involved,” said Tom.
“Neville and Niki are very passionate about seeing someone young coming into the industry and have a chance and we’re marketing the land and buildings for let to young farmers or farming families where maybe there is a son or daughter who wants to take that step into running their own unit.”
If a suitable candidate cannot be found to let the land to, the couple will continue to let it to an existing farm needing the land.
Niki said: “We’ll still let the land to a local farm or someone needing such land, but our preference in the first place is to find a young person and give them first option at a chance to run their own farm.”
Neville said he would not be leaving farming and would continue to work on other parts of the farm and would also offer his advice and assistance to anyone taking on the land if they wanted it.
Applications for the short term farm business tenancy can be obtained from Morris, Marshall and Poole’s Welshpool office by telephoning 01938 554818, emailing Welshpool@morrismarshall.co.uk or visiting www.morrismarshall.co.uk.