By Alison Mann.
Date 12 Apr 2012.
Published in: The Scottish Farmer.
ONE NEW entrant has spoken of the positive relationship he has developed with his landlord and how it has helped him grow his business.
Michael Blanche is new to Dupplin Estate on a 10-year Limited Duration Tenancy for the holding, which comprises Culteuchar Hill Farm and Netherholm.
Mr Blanche said: “As a new entrant, there is a real challenge in making enough cash to grow a business from farming alone and, in the past, I have run my flock in conjunction with a consultancy business.
“I have been grazing sheep on seasonal grass lets which have, for the majority of the time, been 30 miles from home. This meant significant time and cost just for travel as well as the pressure of never really knowing where the sheep will graze next.
“Land available for long term let has just been so scarce. Being able to consolidate my enterprise onto a single landholding is of considerable benefit to me.
“Estates such as Dupplin, which are able to rotate farm land from time to time, are key to providing opportunities for new entrants into the farming sector and I am very pleased to have secured the tenancy,” he said.
Dupplin Estate, a member of Scottish Land and Estates, specifically intended the let as an opportunity to offer a viable agricultural unit to a first time tenant. This was a key factor in the selection process and three of four shortlisted were in this category.
Mr Blanche qualified as a land agent and agronomist before becoming a self employed agricultural consultant. In 2010, he completed a Nuffield Scholarship studying the ‘Farming ladder’ to observe how first generation farmers built equity in their businesses.
Alexander Dewar, owner of Dupplin Estate, said: “We were delighted to be able to select Michael as our preferred choice from a strong field of potential farm tenants. He employs progressive farming techniques and I believe the estate as well as the farm will benefit from his involvement.”