The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) is supporting a call for 100 retiring farmers to sign up to a succession planning solution that brings the best aspiring farming families back to rural, regional and remote country towns.

For most people, the dream of being a farmer is out of reach because of the excessive capital requirements to buy a farm. For older farmers with no family successor, who want to step back but see their farm and community continue, the options are also limited.

Cultivate Farms from Albury NSW, provides the perfect answer to these problems and is leading the call for 100 farmers to put their hands up to get involved in supporting the next generation.

As the national winner of the RAI’s Lightbulb Moments competition, which helps regional people turn their bright ideas into reality, Cultivate Farms matches aspiring farmers, farmers stepping back and investors – to own and operate a farm together.

‘We’re thrilled to be recognised, and as passionate advocates for regional Australia we believe we can bring hundreds of young people back onto farms, into communities and back on the netball and football field’ said Sam Marwood, Co-founder of Cultivate Farms.

Selected by a judging panel of five, including Minister for Regional Development, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Cultivate Farms received project development and mentoring support from the RAI and Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).

‘Keeping Australian agriculture strong, profitable and sustainable means we need a new generation of farmers. Access to capital to buy farms has been a long standing issue for the next generation starting out, but Cultivate Farms tackles this challenge head on with its novel and innovative skills development and farm-matchmaking approach’ Minister Nash said today.

RAI CEO Jack Archer, highlights Cultivate Farms is ready for growth having proved its model by successfully connecting young farmers with opportunities to own and manage their own farms

‘The Cultivate Farms team, including Sam Marwood and Tim and Tegan Hicks, are now looking to partner with more farmers wanting to take a step back, creating a consistent flow of opportunities for the best aspiring farmers to step into’ he said. ‘It’s a great way for farmers to pass on their legacy, stay involved in the farm and have a positive impact on the future of their community by attracting new farming families to town’ he continued.

Cultivate Farms now aims to scale up, actively seeking expressions of interest from farmers.

‘We want to connect with 100 retiring farmers in the next 100 days, so we can bring more young, aspiring farming families back to rural, regional and remote country towns; So if that’s you, or someone you know, we want to hear about it’ said Sam Marwood.

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