Another year, another machinery sale. One era closes and another one begins. Although this time perhaps it is more a start for the next generation of a well established local farming family.
A year ago we were in Hampshire, marking the end of a successful farming family's enterprise near Winchester - the farm now amalgamated with its neighbour although the centrepiece (farm house, farm buildings and some 20 acres) now provides a new family with a much admired rural property on the western edge of the South Downs National Park.
This year we had a similar gathering of local farmers in the community of South Wiltshire for the dispersal of their surplus farm machinery, jointly conducted once again with Southern Counties Auctioneers of Salisbury. A fine day and a good attendance ensured a successful result. Plus it was an opportunity for the local farming community to meet each other, catch up with the news, and buy a few useful spares or machinery that immediately can be put in to use at their own farm.
The difference to our Winchester sale, is that this time, a fourth generation of our client's family plans to retain and operate the bulk of the farm, utilising the expertise (and equipment) of a respected and efficient Contractor. He is pleased to add more acres to his operation gaining further economies of scale to his business. My clients can enjoy the hands-on farming of their land without the considerable investment needed to operate. So everyone gains from this arrangement. As a result, too, the family have been able to settle arrangements between themselves, allowing the older generation to retire and the younger members to enjoy and develop their own farm business. Already backed up by established non-farming income, the whole process remains viable and profitable, keeping in hand the quality of life and their personal environment. Not least they have achieved the changeover amicably within the family.
A poignant day, and a positive one too. As their last harvest of one period of time is now gathered in, their first of the new era can be prepared.