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Don’t miss out on County Farms opportunities, young farmers are told

PUBLISHED: 12:16 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:06 19 February 2020

Duncan Slade and Tom Proctor of Norfolk County Council joined Downham Market Young Farmers' Club (YFC) to discuss opportunities on the Norfolk County Farms estate. Picture: Luke Wing

Duncan Slade and Tom Proctor of Norfolk County Council joined Downham Market Young Farmers' Club (YFC) to discuss opportunities on the Norfolk County Farms estate. Picture: Luke Wing

Luke Wing

Norfolk’s young farmers have been urged to find out more about the career-building opportunities on the Norfolk County Farms estate.

Duncan Slade and Tom Proctor of Norfolk County Council (NCC) met members of Downham Market Young Farmers' Club (YFC) to explain the benefits of a tenancy on the council's 6,800-hectare portfolio of prime agricultural land.

They said rents from the publicly-owned estate created valuable revenue to be spent on council services, while creating rural jobs and offering an entry point into the industry for prospective new farmers.

And there are particular opportunities this year in the west of the county, where four vacant tenancies were announced earlier this month.

Norfolk YFC press officer Luke Wing said: "This is an excellent way for anyone who is interested in starting a career in the farming industry and growing big ideas into realities. However, Tom claims there is not enough awareness about these opportunities and those who are none the wiser lose out on the chance to take advantage of free business planning courses and other resources NCC offers in order to get the best chance of making the most of an interview to acquire a tenancy from the council.

"A real contributing factor to an applicant winning over a panel of judges for a tenancy is not only one's passion for farming but a desire to invent new, interesting and innovative ideas to help small scale farm land diversify and become more productive. Think distilling alcohol, cheese making, selling meat boxes and other products from the farms produce as well as permaculture, social farming and gardening and green energy harvesting as well as other creative ideas and you'd be on the right lines of what NCC is looking for from its applicants.

"Applicants need to be bursting with creativity and enthusiasm, have a real passion and belief in what they have put down in their business plan and know it like the back of your hand."

The new tenancies are at NCC Farm, Welney Farms Estate; New Road Farm, Stow and Marshland Estate; Ingleborough Farm, West Walton Estate; and Bank Cottage Land, Terrington Estate.

- For more information, see the Norfolk County Farms website. The closing date for applications is midday on March 26.


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