New entrants Ben and Harriet took over Newseat of Dumbreck Farm on a three-year Farm Business Tenancy from the Aberdeen Endowment Trust in July 2019. BASIS-qualified Harriet is a farming consultant with Strutt & Parker while Ben is an agronomist with Agrovista. Ben and Harriet took over the tenancy on the eve of Ben’s 30th birthday. In the 6 months since, the pair have been learning about the farm’s land and buildings while developing new income streams. Nursery pigs and cattle are housed on a bed and breakfast basis with 115ha of arable land farmed in tandem with Harriet’s father’s 180ha, about five miles away. They work closely with a neighbouring farm supplying grass silage from 40ha of land to an anaerobic digester to improve the farm’s rotation and increase biodiversity.
Ben said: “We’re in a great position of being able to start at the beginning. We’re still learning about the land and the Resilient and Ready Programme with LEAF and Corteva will be an action-packed couple of years where we’ll be learning about ourselves and our farm as well as meeting like-minded farmers to share our experiences.”
Harriet said: “We’re just starting our farming journey and this could help shape our business to be resilient and ready for the future. We want to be ahead of the curve and to promote a sustainable farming system.”