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Hillmount Farm

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One of the main questions which gets levelled at me about the desire to farm here at Hillmount is why? Dad’s perception of the farm here has always been its heavy land and hard to earn a living from. From his point of view and experience he is bang on, but my take thinking ahead to our life as a family here is different. Here is a bit of my why:


· Providing for the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our family through being connected to the land, working amongst nature and being able to escape screens and computers

· Establishing long-term values within our children towards physical and practical work in a world that will be increasingly dominated by screens, robotics, AI and more

· Developing practical skill sets to grow, fix, and repair in a world that is rapidly losing these skills but will become more and more dependent on them in a changing climate

· Using our land base to reconnect the business with the local community and provide a space for social enterprise and fun things to happen involving people

· Diversifying the business and building a more balanced set of income streams

· Positively influencing how the landscape where we live is managed

· Generating work where dad and I can work together and learn from each other in a mutual way as we go through succession of the business


And here are some of our hopes for a future here on the farm:

· Surrounded by fellow young people and families in the Northern Ireland countryside with an enterprising spirit to work together in tackling the challenges of climate change, nature regeneration and public health

· An agroecological farming system with structural diversity at its core in our soils, plant and animal species across the farmed landscape

· Woodland and pasture fully integrated through a silvopasture system to deliver a longer grazing season with enhanced soil infiltration and farm trafficability

· Grassland productivity increased by 50% through rotational planned grazing

· Riparian buffer strips protecting our water courses and sheughs from nutrient runoff and creating habitat for birds and invertebrates

· Hedgerows, headlands and field corners managed for overwinter bird feed and habitat and in time re-introducing cereals into the farm rotation

· We're collaborating with others - buying, selling and trading together. Farm is operating as part of a farming cluster spreading fixed costs, increasing purchasing power and driving water quality or carbon gains through landscape scale collaboration between farms

· Re-establishing our soft fruit farm as a market garden and tree nursery to support public health, biodiversity and carbon goals


It would be great to hear from others about their why and their hopes for the farm? Feel free to share below…

Sam Millar

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Hi, thanks for joining the group. I'm a new entrant farmer a...
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