2 min read

How to make farming more appealing?

How to make farming more appealing?
Yes, a special edition, black Claas Jaguar IS cool!

One of the great challenges we have within farming is how to attract new talent into the industry.

The stats surrounding the average age of a British farmer and lack of new entrants should be cause for concern. Because if they are not addressed, the viability of our industry is at risk.

So how do you make it more appealing to younger people? Well, I see there being 3 main hurdles:

Make it profitable

The current generation have SO many more options when it comes to work and employment that we had 20 years ago. And more importantly they know it.

Any tech savvy youngster can jump on the internet and with a couple of searches find jobs paying £30k upwards with 20 miles of where they live.

These jobs typically offer 9-5 working hours, weekends off and 28 days of paid holiday throughout the year. Can farming match that?

One way we can increase profitability is through the adoption of technology to lower workloads and increase yields. Something I'm pretty sure many tech savvy youngsters would excel at!

Making the industry more profitable would go a long way in attracting new entrants as passion can only go so far when paying the bills.

Make is easier

One of the largest barriers stopping new entrants getting into the industry is the lack of land.

Not an easy challenge to overcome but with more older farmers looking to retire there will be more scope for partnership, tenant agreements and share farming options than ever before.

I should also remind you that you don't need land to get into the industry. There are a ton of other route in including careers with companies that support the industry and various other off-farm jobs.

The marketing and promotion of these opportunities needs to improve.

Make it 'cooler'

Granted, 'cool' is subjective but whatever way you cut it, image matters.

The era of manual labour and days spent toiling in the field are over (thankfully!) however our marketing needs to catch up.

With the help of technology, many elements of farming have become less labour intensive and require more brains than brawn.

Those within the industry know that but to attract others, the image of agriculture out with the industry needs to portray this.

We also need to educate others that farming these days is not all about food production. There is an increased focus on the environment of which there is a big interest amongst younger generations.

So the potential for the industry is there. Agriculture is and can be a fantastic opportunity for those interested in food production, science or the environment.

We just need to get better at shouting about it!

Until next week.