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TFA e-News 17 May

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Fancy Working for the TFA?

The TFA is offering a great job opportunity for a fulfilling role in an advisory capacity within our Head Office staff team. We are looking for a new team member to take up a one-year contract to work on the development of farm policy and to advise TFA members on how this will impact them. If you are interested in applying for the role, or know someone else who might be, please click here for the full job description.

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Have Your Say on Farm Tenancy Reform Consultations?

As many of you will have seen in the farming press, following recommendations from the Tenancy Reform Industry Group (TRIG, of which the TFA is a member), DEFRA and the Welsh Government have released consultations on certain tenancy reform measures. The proposals seek “to remove barriers to productivity improvements and facilitate structural change in the tenant farming sector”.

The TFA is seeking views from tenant farmers, whether or not existing members of the TFA, on the proposed changes, ahead of submitting a response to the consultation. We would be very grateful to hear your views. You can complete the survey by clicking here. Also, you can read the DEFRA consultation document in full by clicking here and the Welsh document by clicking here.

The TFA will also be joining with DEFRA to hold two special consultation meetings at Scotch Corner on 3 June and the Kent Showground on 17 June. Further details about these events can be found by clicking here.

All party Parli group

TFA Joins Other Rural Organisations in Discussions with the Treasury

The TFA has joined with other farming and rural organisations in presenting a united case on the needs of rural areas that should be addressed in the current spending review being carried out by Chief Secretary to the Treasury, The Rt Hon Liz Truss MP. The submission covered a wide range of areas including the need to embed rural considerations into wider decision making within Government, rural broadband and mobile connectivity, support for the rural economy and productivity, affordable housing and managing and enhancing natural capital.

A full copy of the submission made can be viewed by clicking here. The covering letter written by the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services, The Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, who coordinated the group, can be viewed by clicking here.


TFA Discusses County Farms Issues with Chief Estate Surveyors

TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn, was invited this week to address a meeting of chief estate surveyors from County Farms Estates across England and Wales. Representatives from DEFRA were also present at Thursday’s meeting to discuss the current consultation on agricultural tenancy reform, progress on the Agricultural Bill and plans for supporting productivity through post Brexit agricultural policy. George challenged the group to be more upfront about highlighting the importance of County Farms through the media, in representations to Government and to Parliament. He also criticised several local decisions made to sell whole estates or large parts of existing estates including the decisions made in Somerset, Herefordshire and most recently in Staffordshire where 16 holdings have been put up for sale. George argued that there was a role for Central Government to require a greater degree of accountability from local authorities to ensure that they were demonstrating best value from the way that they were managing their estates.

Jo Merritt getting new tenancy prepared

TFA Farm Walk Next Week Near Chester

The first of a series of TFA farm walks kick off next Wednesday in Broxton, near Chester. Hosted by TFA West Midlands Regional Committee Member, Keith Siddorn, we invite you to arrive at Meadow Bank, Broxton, Chester, CH3 9JS from 5:30pm for a 6pm start. More details can be found by clicking here.

Following the farm walk, and while food is served, there will also be a talk by TFA Recommended Professional, Tony Rimmer from Rostons. He will discuss the implications faced by tenant farmers if the suggested tenancy reforms put forward by DEFRA in their current consultation, becomes legislation.

This TFA event is, as usual, open to any local farmers who do not own the land they farm, regardless if they are TFA members. A light supper will be provided, so please register in advance here, so we know numbers.

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Environmental Stewardship Inspections Update From the RPA

This week, the TFA received the following update from the RPA regarding their handling of outstanding Environmental Stewardship (ES) inspection processing.

The RPA said, “The agency is dealing with the backlog of work associated with the scheme and this includes the conclusion of ES inspection outcomes. The RPA is working to clear the remaining 2017 inspections, as part of its commitment to pay 95% of eligible 2017 final claims, by the end of July 2019. After this is complete, the focus will move onto 2018 inspections in preparation for the 2018 payment to be made. The inspections need to be processed before the final payment of any scheme year, or payments for subsequent years, can be completed. ES inspections do not have an impact on Countryside Stewardship claims”.

They went on to say, “The RPA acknowledges that performance on ES needs to be better and has a range of improvement measures, including a review of the inspection process which currently takes substantial resource to complete, to bring payments back on track. The RPA is also in the process of bringing in significant new resource, including creating a new office. The expectation is that this resource will pick up work on straight forward claims. This will free up experienced resource to focus on inspection processing”.

If you have any concerns regarding the Environmental Stewardship inspection process, please contact TFA Farm Policy Adviser, Lynette Steel, on 0118 9306130.

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TFA Cymru and Farming Connect Join Forces to Deliver Further Advice and Training for Tenant Farmers in Wales

TFA Cymru and Farming Connect are preparing to deliver another free one-to-one advisory session for tenant farmers on 20 May. Followed by seminars on 21 May on top tips for applying for a tenancy and end of tenancy matters. These will take place at the Glasdir Conference Centre, Llanrwst, Conwy. For more information, or to book a place, click here.

natural england

General Licences for the Control of Wild Birds Update

This week, the TFA published an online response from Natural England following an increase in enquiries since the long-standing General Licences (GL04, GL05 and GL06) were revoked.

Natural England have answered some of the most frequently asked questions to help clarify the current situation to users of the licences. To read them click here. Alternatively, they are also published in our blog area of the TFA website. .

Karen Anthony presenting Nov 18

TFA Member Events

Farming Connect Events in Conwy, Wales

20 May - One-to-One Tenants Advice Surgery with TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn.
21 May - Seminars covering top tips for applying for a tenancy and end of tenancy matters.

Click here for more details of both events.

TFA Farm Walk in Cheshire

22 May - The TFA will be holding a Farm Walk at Meadow Bank, Broxton, Cheshire, CH3 9JS on Wednesday 22 May from 5:30pm. There will also be a talk by TFA Recommended Professional, Tony Rimmer about the potential impacts on proposed tenancy reform.

For more details and to reserve your place, click here.

DEFRA Tenancy Reform Consultation Workshops

The TFA will also be joining with DEFRA to hold two special consultation meetings in North Yorkshire and Kent.

3 June - Workshop at Scotch Corner Hotel, nr Darlington, starting at 6pm. For more details or to take part click here.
17 June - Workshop at Kent Showground, nr Maidstone, starting at 12:30pm. For more details or to take part click here.

TFA at the Royal Cornwall Show

6 - 8 June - The TFA team will again be attending the Royal Cornwall Show. TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn and TFA Adviser Caroline Foot, will be running one-to-one advisory sessions for tenant farmers throughout the show.*

To book a place call TFA head office on 0118 930 6130. You will be able to find our stand in its usual position opposite the members pavilion (stand number 465). *On Saturday 8 June, appointments will be available with Caroline Foot only. Click here for further details.

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Member Offers

bira Bank - TFA Member Rates

Latest bira Bank interest rates for loans can be found by clicking here.

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An Hours FREE Software Training With Farmplan

Farmplan is the UK’s most popular provider of software solutions for managing farm accounts, livestock and cropping enterprises. We’re pleased to offer TFA members 1 hour free online software training with every purchase of core software products.

To take advantage of this offer, please call TFA head office on 0118 930 6130 for the offer code. This offer expires 31 March 2020.

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Three Counties Subscription Offer

The Three Counties Farmer is pleased to be working with the TFA and is able to offer members of the TFA, 12 issues of the Three Counties Farmer publication for the price of 10 issues (£10.00).

To take advantage of this offer, please call TFA head office on 0118 9306130 for the offer code.


And Finally

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Leaf Open Farm Sunday - There is Still Time to Get Involved

While the number of farms committed to hosting a Leaf Open Farm Sunday event on 9 June is up 10% on this time last year, the organisers are urging more to get involved. These events are a great way to bridge the gap between consumers and producers. To register or to find out more, visit

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