My name is Jeremy Walker and I took over as National Chairman of the Tenant Farmers’ Association (TFA) on March 17th this year. My predecessor, Greg Bliss, has been very successful and efficient in this office over the last three years; I only hope that I can carry on the good work.
I’m a First generation tenant on the Taunton Crown Estate in Somerset. I’ve been on this holding since 1979, although it has increased in size from 200 acres to over 600 acres over the years. We are situated on the edge of the Quantock hills at 400 feet up, overlooking the Somerset Levels, with Glastonbury Tor in the distance.
I now farm in partnership with my wife Helen and son Simon. We have a mixed farming system with arable crops of winter cereals, oilseed rape and potatoes; a beef breeding and fattening herd of about 140 head; a flock of around 100 ewes and 28,000 free range hens, producing woodland eggs for Sainsbury’s. We also undertake agricultural contract work in the area.
I have taken an active role in the Wessex region of the TFA for some years, acting as Chairman for most of that time. I really feel that the Association can make a difference; both by helping the individual with their tenancy issues and also lobbying on behalf of the tenanted sector with Government and other National Bodies, together with influencing policy decisions made in Europe.
I lead a fairly hectic life for a Senior Citizen, what with helping out on the farm, doing all the paperwork, attending TFA meetings and events, sitting as a Magistrate (if you can’t beat ‘em, join them!) and chairing my local parish council. Any time left after all that may see me working in the garden or on the house (if nagged enough!) or even a short break away from it all.