New Entrants

There is a network of new entrant groups across the country helping individuals at various stages in developing their business.  For more information or where to find your nearest group contact Kirsten Williams, Consultant, SAC Consulting, 01888 563333

The programme also includes useful free resources:

Free mentoring support for new farmers and crofters

If you are a new farmer or crofter, or have set up business in the last five years, then you are also entitled to free support through the Farm Advisory Service’s mentoring programme.  This can give you access to the valuable skills and knowledge of an experienced mentor, matched to your business’s needs, who can guide you through the vital set-up and early growth-years of your business.

Typical skills that mentors could offer include:

  • Experience of running a farm business
  • Traditional skills such as stone walling, hedge laying etc.
  • Food and drink industry experience

To download your mentoring application form today click here.  Should you need further information, or require a hard copy of this form, please telephone the Farm Advisory Service advice line on 0300 323 0161.

Why this programme is so important to the industry

Concerns about the lack of new entrants to farming are not unique to Scotland. Similar anxieties have been expressed in many developed countries for the last 20 years. However, Scotland’s principal farmers are indeed ageing. The number of farmers aged over 65 increased from 24% to 31% in the last 10 years to 2015. At the same time, the number of farmers under 45 has fallen. It is estimated that the average age of Scottish farmers is around 58 and a large proportion do not have a successor in place.  New entrants are therefore essential to the  sustainability of the Scottish farming industry.

The Scottish Government’s New Entrants to Farming Programme, delivered by SRUC, aims to support, enthuse and inspire those who want to join this great industry. The programme provides advice on how to effectively enter and thrive in the industry, the skills required, and support measures available which may include grant funding – through mechanisms such as the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP).

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0300 323 0161