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Tenant sector under the spotlight as farming enters crucial age


Major industry figureheads are set to have their say on the tenant farming sector this week, during what will be the biggest ever NFU tenant’s conference.

Over 200 delegates are expected at the event, entitled ‘The future of the tenanted sector,’ on November 10 at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire.

Speakers include Jim Paice, Minister for Agriculture and Food, and Julian Sayers, Chairman of the Tenant Reform Industry Group. They join NFU President and opening speaker Peter Kendall for the morning session to discuss pressing issues facing the sector.

“This is an important conference as farming enters a crucial age,” said Mr Kendall. “The NFU believes a strong tenanted sector is vital if we are to meet all of the challenges for farming that lie ahead when producing more, while impacting less on our environment.”

Topics up for discussion at the conference include provisions for the next generation of tenant farmers, the number of land tenancies coming onto the market, and the role Government can play in ensuring the sector has a viable future. The NFU also hopes the conference will give members ideas on future plans for retirement as well.

Leading on tenancy issues for the NFU is Deputy President Meurig Raymond. He will be joined for the afternoon session by Bertie Ross, Chief Executive of the Duchy of Cornwall, Will Gemmill, head of farming at Strutt & Parker, and tenant farmers Gareth Barlow and Rhys Williams.

Mr Raymond said: “This conference will bring key industry players in the tenant sector together.

“It will also offer the chance for young agriculture students from Harper Adams to have their say on how tenancy issues affect them and their future ambitions for farming.

“For some a tenancy is the only opportunity to farm and progress in the industry, and we must ensure that the route into agriculture remains attractive and a distinct possibility to the next generation of farmers. Using their collective experience and knowledge it will be possible to explore different ways into a tenancy.”

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