Ten-year tenancy for Adam

Hard work and commitment have resulted in a 10-year tenancy for a young farmer building his career in Deeside.

Adam Smith, 29, has been given a 10-year Limited Duration Tenancy (LDT) following the amalgamation of two holdings near Tarland on land owned by The MacRobert Trust.

Mr Smith, the son of a local farmer who was keen to get into the industry on his own account, took on a 185-acre holding at The Leys in May 2007 and the adjoining holding at Newbigging Farm in May 2010. Both lets were Short Limited Duration Tenancies (SLDT) following the retirement of previous tenants.

The estate Trustees have now amalgamated the two holdings, which extend to 370 acres, and granted a 10-year LDT to Mr Smith.

The Trustees’ move means that Mr Smith can enjoy the security of a longer-term tenancy which gives him an ideal opportunity to further build his career in farming.

Mr Smith said: “I am pleased with the opportunity that has been given to me and I am grateful to the Trustees for having faith in my abilities to run the farms to a high standard.”

The Chairman of The MacRobert Trust Trustees, Sir Garth Morrison, the Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian, and himself a farmer said: “I am delighted that the Trustees have seized this opportunity to provide Adam with the chance to farm in his own right and, so far, he is very clearly making a good job of it.

“The Trustees feel they have a responsibility to give new entrants an opportunity to farm and will do so when appropriate opportunities arise.

“However, the Trustees also have an on-going commitment to their existing tenants and, in the recent past, other holdings have also been amalgamated in order to increase the land available to support father and son teams.

“Thus, the actions of the Trustees have provided other opportunities to new entrants, although perhaps in not such an obvious way.”

The MacRobert Trust Administrator, Air Commodore Bob Joseph, added: “I know the Smith family, including Adam’s parents who farm at Wester Coull, Tarland.

“I have every confidence that Adam will capitalise on the faith that the Trustees have shown in him.

“The Trustees are fully committed to the future of farming and, in addition to recent substantial capital investment in new farm buildings elsewhere on the estate, also approved an on-going three-year funded trial of a MacRobert Trust Scottish Faming Scholarship through the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust.”

Strutt & Parker’s Simon Power, who manages the estate, said: “It has not been entirely straightforward for Adam to get started, particularly as there was no Single Farm Payment (SFP) available with either of the holdings.

“Although Adam has been able to acquire some entitlement, the lack of availability of SFP for new entrants is making the whole process of becoming established more difficult. Hopefully the new CAP arrangements will eradicate this inequality.

“The Government has pledged support for young farmers but it is still very hard for them to get started in Scotland and opportunities are rare.

“With this in mind, the Trustees of The MacRobert Trust are more than willing to give a young farmer a chance.

“It is unusual for a young farmer to be given a LDT, but this should now afford him some security in which to plan ahead.

“Adam is in the process of building up his cattle and sheep numbers so more ground is currently given over to barley than will be the case in the future if all goes well.”

There are nine main farm holdings on The MacRobert Trust’s 7,200-acre estate let on a mix of 1991 Act tenancies and LDTs.

Of these, seven now have father and son teams and two others could have children coming into farming in years to come.

The MacRobert Trust is a wide-ranging grant-giving charity; its extensive annual programme of donations and grants is funded largely from its financial endowment with the addition of surplus generated on the estate.

For more information about The MacRobert Trust visit www.themacroberttrust.org.uk.