Young farmers reaping the benefits

30th October 2017

Young farmers all over the county can now afford to get the training they need to be safe at work, thanks to a £7,230 grant from the Cumbria Fund and Westmorland Ltd Fund.

The Farmer Network received the funding to provide vouchers worth £200 each year to people aged between 15 and 40 working on farms to spend on training courses such as trailer handling, pesticide use, artificial insemination, sheep shearing, and foot trimming etc.

The vouchers were offered between January 2016 and September 2017 to help towards the cost of technical training needed to be able to work safely on the farms, while also improving employability among young farmers.

Demand for these vouchers has risen steadily in recent years. The Farmer Network is aware that nearly all of their applicants come from farm families that are under severe financial pressure, and that most of farms are remote from many of the places where training is provided.

Paul Harper, Project Manager, understands the importance of this training: “This kind of support is essential to farmers as smaller farms cannot often afford the cost of training. As the training provided is in a group setting, farmers are able to share expertise and help each other out.”

James Hodgson, a farmer from Bampton, received a training voucher to enable him to subsidise the cost of trailer training. He said: “The scheme was very beneficial and the administration simple. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to pay for my trailer test without the voucher. Passing the test has allowed me to transport equipment and livestock, such as taking my cattle to shows and auction marts, which improves the viability of the farm.”