Farming began in earnest almost 12,000 years ago. And, as such, can claim worthy title to being the oldest industry on the planet. Today, farming is a multi-billion pound industry and still going strong.
But the sector has a problem. At the moment, the average age of a British farmer is 59. And it realizes it needs to do something, and quick, if it wants to attract fresh young talent. In recent years, the industry has made significant moves to attract new blood. And many energetic new people have entered the market. Here’s how they’ve been making money.
Juices And Jams
At the moment, there’s a significant demand for juices and jams. People want artisanal products to replace boring and generic supermarket brands. Thus, there’s an opportunity for new entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector to make a bit of money. What’s more, farmers have an advantage over traditional juice and jam makers. Because they’re able to grow their own varieties, they can experiment with new and exciting flavours.
Three young farmers from the UK, all from the same family, have revolutionised their family farm. The farm started off life as a 400-acre plot of arable land with 140 cattle. But the Barnes brothers, as they’re known, decided that they would branch out and start offering new services. One of their ideas was to provide a machinery and tractor repair service. Now local farmers bring their used New Holland tractors to their farm, and the boys get out the spanners. The problem is that farmers don’t usually know how to fix things, especially in their area, the brothers say. And so they’re always on the lookout for somewhere convenient to get the job done. Now the farm has expanded, and the boys are helping it to make even more money.
Many young people loathe the idea of an office job. They want to be out and about in the country doing something that they love. Lucy Berisford was one such young person. She didn’t fancy the 9 to 5 lifestyle, having grown up in the countryside. And so she decided to launch her own egg business. The idea behind the company was to offer specialised egg deliveries to local restaurants and delis. These local amenities could then advertise the superior quality of their eggs.
Before long, Lucy’s business was up and running. And now she delivers more than 12,000 eggs per week. Lucy did what all entrepreneurs do and tried to reduce her costs as much as possible. She calculates the best routes so that she can deliver as many eggs as possible per mile.
Joe Delves studied agriculture in the US. While he was there, he discovered a scheme that helped to give workers more equity in their farms. Lower skilled workers were given salary options that allowed them to take a stake in the farm. These shares then paid dividends, enabling them to build up more of a stake. He’s since applied this model to farms in the UK. Farms under his management have seen a 10 percent increase in profitability. Plus, they’ve introduced a range of new measures to keep costs down.