New England Young Farmer branch event, Pathways Into Farming, attracts 40 people to Tamworth venue

Pathways Into Farming let attendees hear from three speakers on how they got started in agriculture without having to inherit land.
Pathways Into Farming let attendees hear from three speakers on how they got started in agriculture without having to inherit land.

FARMING is often a generational business, but a recent workshop has shown young people how to start without inheriting land.

The first event of the New England Young Farmer branch, Pathways Into Farming attracted 40 people keen to hear from three people who did just that.

Branch chairwoman Kate McDonald said The Welder’s Dog in Tamworth was packed as Tony Bailey, Andrew Charlton and James Maunder told their tales.

She said the event being held during one of the world’s largest ag field days was great timing.

“We had over 40 attendees and it was really informative; everyone was really engaged,” Miss McDonald said.

“Because of AgQuip, there were people there from Armidale, Tamworth, Inverell, Moree, Glen Innes – it was a fair spread.”

The speakers

Mr Bailey, of Moree, attended ag college then started a small contracting business with his brother. A few years later they formed a partnership to share-farm with two friends, and eventually the four had enough capital to buy a block of land. Since then, they have bought and sold seven properties over 30 years, giving them the capital to run two major farms.

Mr Charlton, from Ballimore, bought his first lot of cattle with his brother when he was 20. The idea was to sell one beast and buy two, upgrading every time. They kept them on agistment until they had the capital to buy their first block of land near Wellington, where they continue to expand their enterprise.

Mr Maunder grew up in the Moree region, studied a degree in ag and started working for National Australia Bank in a graduate program. He bought his first piece of land at 27 in partnership with his brother. They used their off-farm income to buy their first asset – which, he said, was always the hardest step – and later expand their cropping enterprise. 

A representative of Rabobank was also on hand to answer questions about finance and preparing to apply for it.

What’s next

Miss McDonald said the branch was planning an event to connect young and older farmers.

“We’ve sent out expressions of interest [for older farmers] to open up their farm gates to young farmers, to get them to see the different practices and different range of technology being used.”

She said the branch was “always looking for ideas” for helpful events.

“We’re asking if there’s an issue they feel deeply affects the young farmers in our region, to get in contact with us.”

  • Call Kate McDonald on 0431 457 885.