A concept that has come from our work supporting our three regional communities in northern Victoria is the concept of ageing on the farm. We met an elder advocate, Maria Berry in NE Vic, who has opened our eyes to the need to support our retiring farmers more and we will be working together ongoing to ensure this happens.
We have been talking to may retiring farmers who don’t want to leave their farm, so they come to us to find someone to share the farm with so they can hand over a lot of the physical work they aren’t able to keep up with.
But we realised that there are so many considerations to make well before a farmer thinks about sharing ownership with another farmer. And we realised it is wrapped up in the concept of Ageing on Farm.
So we have coined the phrase and have developed a project plan to understand how we can help farmers work through everything they need to so they can stay on their farm if this is what they want
The Cultivate Farms Ageing on Farm Program will help farmers identify pathways to stay on their farm for as long as they want.
The focus of this program is unique in the world and will provide Australian farmers and their communities the chance to help bring young people into farm ownership, support and keep retiring farmers on the land and in doing so, rejuvenate the community.
Ageing on Farm is the process of farmers realising their potential for physical, social and mental wellbeing on their farm. A cornerstone concept is that ageing farmers heading towards retirement are best able to achieve their goals with partnership opportunities with younger farmers.
Our message to retiring farmers is that you don’t have to sell and walk away from your farm. They can stay on their farm, keep involved in farming and be a key player in rejuvenating their community.
If every retiring farmer in Australia considered ageing on-farm, or at the very least transitioning ownership of their farm to a young family, there would be no issue with regional decline as farm ownership opportunities would be plentiful. Considering whether to age on-farm has not been a considered option for many. It takes time, resources, requires planning and consultation of many people. Through the Ageing on Farm Program, we will identify the steps and options that give hope to a farming vision realised well into old age.
Farmer match and succession
Farmer health, Family, Community
Home and farm layout
Please get in touch if you know how we can resource the development of this support so that we can keep promoting the opportunity and helping more retiring farmers realise their farming dreams.