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 who do not have a successor but prefer not to sell the farm). While incubator projects and share-farming schemes are usually considered steps towards becoming a farmer in one’s own right, they can also be used as a means by which individuals can straddle the farm-worker/farmer division, and train in all elements of farm work while at the same time gaining dividends from the business itself. Incubator opportunities range from agroecological farming to more commercial systems.
Examples of incubator projects and similar initiatives include:
Farm Start. Run by the Landworkers Alliance, this scheme allows new entrants protected access to training and mentoring, land, markets, business support and equipment: network/
Fresh Start Land Enterprise: An initiative bringing together entrepreneurs and businesses to use land for unlocking business innovation: partnership/
Newbie. Works throughout Europe to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by developing opportunities for new entrants: https://www.newbie-
The Scottish Land Matching Service. Matches new entrants with existing farmers to encourage joint ventures for the benefit of both parties:
Several respondents believe that new entrants keen to become land managers should consider the risks and benefits of this, claiming that retaining the status of farm worker rather than being an owner has its benefits.
Small growers are also crucial to act as incubators for new farm workers but for many they simply do not have the capital to pay as much as some of the larger businesses. This presents a clear dichotomy for smaller growers.
It appears that organic initiatives tend to attract more female entrants, while more commercial farming
“I would often say to individuals in their late teens/early twenties, that if they looked at employment as an initial way into the industry, they would be farming much bigger areas with much bigger kit on guaranteed hours with holidays and pay without any risk to their own capital. Get some years under your belt as an employee, maybe do the farm manager route, and then thereafter if you’ve still got a passion to run your own business then go ahead. But if you try to find an opportunity as a young individual on a tenanted basis you’re going to be farming small areas of land with a short length of term at your own risk and working 24/7 to achieve your goal” (Farming rep 3)
‘new entrant’ farming programmes attract more male new entrants, a balance that might require further examination as to how to change the gender balance and widen the pool of potential workers further.
It was reported that an initiative set up as a training provider might be more likely to receive funding, but career changers might not be as interested in achieving new qualifications as younger entrants. Creating a network for initiative participants also proved important among respondents.
“The other thing that I think we did really well is bringing people together. Those groups of trainees and apprentices, a lot of them are still in touch today as friends you know. We built that network and community and supported them as a group through the training schemes” (Career changers 1)
Candidate requirements vary according to different initiatives, with some demanding greater physical

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