Over the past year the Macra na Feirme and FBD Trust Land Mobility Service have enjoyed considerable growth, supporting over 100 new Collaborative Farming Arrangements meaning that this initiative has now been involved in over 400 arrangements covering a staggering 35,000 acres since its inception in 2014.
Collaborative farming arrangements include share farming, partnerships, long-term leases and farm to farm arrangements such as contract rearing. They are between two or more persons with the goal of being beneficial for all involved as well as helping deliver access to land. The key innovative element of the Land Mobility Service has been its role as an expert independent facilitator in brokering such arrangements coupled with finding potential suitable collaborators.
Long-term leasing is the most popular arrangement in the Land Mobility Service, however, share farming and partnership style arrangements have grown in popularity in the past year. The service has found that many landowners like shared arrangements because it allows them to remain involved on the farm and retain their farmer status, while for young farmers it reduces the level of finance they may require to get their business up and running.
According to Austin Finn Programme Manager for the Land Mobility Service, the reason why this initiative works for people is that it keeps the people involved at the heart of any arrangement. He works with people to develop an arrangement that is fair, sustainable and an agreement that suits all parties. Speaking about the growth of the initiative he said, ‘ I can categorically say that we have been able to find an opportunity for any young person with the skills, flexibility and desire to make it happen, there are many great success stories out there for both landowners and young farmers. This is a unique time that is providing opportunities for young people’.
The Land Mobility Service has worked closely with its aligned Dairy Co-ops, Dairygold, Aurivo and Glanbia and has been involved in many arrangements in their catchment area. The service will continue to align with more industry partners as it moves to a full nationwide platform with continued support from the FBD Trust, the farm organisations and the Department of Agriculture.
If you would like to find out more about the Land Mobility Service please contact Austin Finn on 086 2541425 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .