Young farmers face challenges breaking into industry without inheritance

Teleri Fielden has always wanted to be a farmer, but getting there hasn't been easy.

She's just one of many so-called 'first generation' farmers who are trying to get into the industry. Her first taste of farming came while visiting her grandfather at his farm.

I’ve always wanted to farm, so obviously without inheriting a farm it’s a bit trickier. My granddad used to farm so I used to love going there at weekends and trying to get work experience when i was 14 and when i was 15. And then just ended up working within the industry, but not actually farming. And I keep trying to get back to it. Recently i was out in France for a couple of years, working and studying agriculture there and nearly ended up share farming, but decided I just wanted to come back to Wales too much.

Teleri Fielden, first generation farmer
Farming is a passion for Teleri and despite not having her own farm she's spent years working in the industry. Credit: ITV News

The 26-year-old, from Meifod in Powys, says she ended up relying on local farmers to get work experience and had to look at other schemes that provide help to get into the industry. She said that if more farms here offered shared farming, live where existing farms provide land and lend machinery to others who then work the land and grow crops.

It can be very difficult for our young people to get onto the farming ladder, especially given the price of land and rent. As a Union we have pushed for schemes to be implemented that offer an entry route and for the preservation of County council farms, which have been instrumental in allowing many young people to get a foothold in farming.

Farmers's Union of Wales
Teleri has been tending a flock of sheep on her parents' land. Credit: ITV News

For the past few months, Teleri has been balancing her job working with the Farmers' Union of Wales with tending a flock of sheep on land close to her parents home. But now she’s preparing to move to a 600-acre farm in Snowdonia after winning this year’s Llyndy Isaf National Trust Scholarship. Not only will Teleri have her first full-time taste of farming life, but she’ll also be learning about conservation farming practices through the scholarship which was set up in 2013.

Now I’ve been lucky enough to win the Llyndy Isaf scholarship, I’ve got the chance with the National Trust to run a farm for a year and get trained and mentored through it, but it’s quite a challenge to get into the industry if you’re not inheriting a farm.

Teleri Fielden

Watch Megan Boot's report: