[10 April/The Country]

Retirement can be a challenge for farmers with close ties to their land, but it can also open doors to new opportunities. Retirement was weighing heavily on farmers minds and two thirds of farmers aimed to hand over their farms in the next ten years as they approached 65, according to a Rabobank survey. The 2013 census showed the average age of cattle farmers was 56, and was expected to be higher now. Fit4Farming Consultant and Fitness Coach, Ian Handcock, works with farmers and his approach to healthy body healthy mind meant he spent time helping farmers with their personal lives. He added that it was a good approach to coax farmers of their farmers earlier so they weren’t going cold turkey. It helps them build social networks of contacts and friends. Bayleys Rural Agent, Lin Norris, said while farmers are all different, health and age were obvious factors in how they manage their retirement.