National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

21 October 2021

As a former dairy farmer, Gordon Jones is familiar with farmers’ business investment needs. As lead for the new Defra Farming Investment Fund, he was well-placed to share information about the new scheme with three regional groups of young farmers at recent events organised by the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC).

A range of counties were represented at the Defra-supported engagement events where Mr Jones gave an overview of the Future Farming Programme, the Agricultural Transition Plan and the new Agriculture Act. He highlighted work on the roll-out of the Sustainable Farming Incentive, the Farming Resilience Programme and development of the Lump Sum Exit Scheme and the New Entrants Scheme.

The Farming Investment Fund is due to be launched this autumn and the informal discussions gave everyone an opportunity to discuss their business needs, ask questions and make suggestions for future schemes, either for equipment and technology or longer-term infrastructure.  

The expected minimum spend was outlined and YFC members were informed that larger grant funding is unlikely to include a forestry theme, as forestry items are likely to be included within the equipment and technology fund.  

Initial priorities for the transformation fund are expected to include water and robotics to help improve productivity. There is also an emphasis on positive environmental outcomes. The equipment and technology grants are likely to be offered in annual rounds with contractors now also eligible to apply.  As set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan, The Farming Investment Fund is scheduled to run until 2024-25.

YFC AGRI Chair Tom Pope said the events were useful for young farmers. 

“These events provided a great opportunity for those of us who are interested in improving the productivity of our business through optimising future funding opportunities.  We know that we are facing ambitious policy change, but we also want to continue to produce high quality food, diversify where and when needed and add value to our businesses to ensure financial viability.  

“Discussing ideas and future business prospects was both enlightening and encouraging and all future Defra support and interaction is welcomed.”

Following the events, Gordon Jones said he enjoyed the opportunity to engage with a young farmer audience and to hear and discuss their ideas for the future development of the Farming Investment Fund. 


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