Start Up Stories

Young Farmers Share How They Made Their Start In Farming

Start Up Stories

Young Farmers Share How They Made Their Start In Farming

Community Participation -


The issue

The New England Region is renowned for being a long held generational farming area. The data shows that the average age of farmers in the New England North West is 58 years old. Only 25% of farmers are under 35 years old, while 20% of farmers are over 60 years old. Even though the barrier to entry to own and run a farm has never been harder than now, the appetite for farming as a career has never been stronger.

The solution

GLENRAC hosts many Community of Practice events every year and has identified that information sharing and the telling of stories is a powerful way to learn and gain confidence in new areas. An evening event was held at the Deepwater Brewery where three local young farmers participated in a panel discussing the highs, lows and crucial elements required to get a start in owning and running own farm. Each panelist brought a strong message surrounding issues they found important on their journey; including hard work and perseverance, financial scrutiny to ensure investments yield returns, and diversification of enterprises to enhance income streams. Discussion also covered topics like securing your first lease, communication, technology, fitting family in with running a farm and organisation tactics.

The impact

Over 40 people attended the evening event and left feeling inspired, informed and connected to their farming community. 88% intend to implement what they learned from the event to their farm practices. While 84% of attendees met someone new and 44% reconnected with someone they knew. Many attendees indicated that another event like this one would be a wonderful continuation of knowledge sharing, some even suggested to have a women’s specific evening.


The panel format for the evening was well received. It allowed attendees to ask questions and felt more like a relaxed group discussion than a presentation. A list of helpful resources and recommended books was also provided, and surveys indicated that this was an appreciated aspect of the evening. Leading up to the event a strong media campaign was utilised, along side the usual weekly GLENRAC emails and posters around town. Most reported to have received the message through social media, so a worthwhile use of time and resources for the 20-40 years age bracket.

Key facts

  • 40 attendees
  • 80% are in livestock production
  • 88% intend to implement what they learned to their farm practices
  • Communication is crucial
  • Perseverance and continuous, meticulous planning is key
  • Financial scrutiny ensures investments yield returns
  • Diversification can be key in enhancing income streams

Project Partners