Liv og nye landbrugsformer
SOCIALLY BENEFICIAL AGRICULTURE’S (SBA) INVOLVEMENT IN LIVSALLING
The initiative LivSalling is a case in Socially Beneficial Agri-culture because they work with organising a collaboration between farmers which will help young farmers to establish themselves and live off a business consisting of milk production based on about 30 cows. The community will develop a new mode of operation for milk production of this size.
Organic Denmark entered into an agreement to contribute to the development and to test the concept for LivSalling through SBA, which finances the preparation of financial analyses for a small number of small farms as well as a budget for a model farm. This showed that, with reasonable working hours, it is possible to generate an acceptable level of revenue for one person.
The initiative was promoted at agricultural schools, and LivSalling appeared on Mødestedet, which is a platform for finding partners. SBA also financed a marketing initiative which included building a website, production of small videos and the commencement of a campaign on social media.
The community can only be organised as an association. The principles for the mode of operation would, in this case, be the foundation of the association. The community can be called a cultural cooperative because it is formed around the develop-ment of a new mode of operation. By contrast, shared opera-tions refers to a community of different specialised companies that complement each other (see the case Skyttes Gartneri ApS).
The need for agreements that can ensure the establishment of the community between the farmers has not been determined.
Identical leasing contracts were prepared between Jord-brugsfonden LivSalling (The Agricultural Fund LivSalling) and the lessees of land and properties with buildings. Apart from general terms, these included instructions for operating while practising holistic grazing/good crop rotation, establishing fertile soil and feeding and tending to animals, as well as in-structions for how the lessees of the different properties were expected to cooperate with each other.
The economy of the cultural cooperative’s farming was based on commencement without big start-up investments, with low costs for fodder and labour and with a higher price for milk and meat due to grass feeding. The model calculations showed that it is possible to have a reasonable operating economy with the outlined mode of operation.
The leasing costs were kept low since the Villum Foundation issued a security for Jordbrugsfonden LivSalling, which led to Merkurbank agreeing to debt-fund Jordforbrugsfonden’s first purchase of a farm. The debt-funding from Merkurbank is matched by credit institution funds.
In the long term, Jordforbrugsfonden will be able to acquire capital as another local agricultural fund through a subsidiary which the citizens can invest in (see the case SamsØkologisk).
EXPERIENCE AND LEARNING
The community must be in agreement on the basic guidelines for the mode of operation, and there must also be room to de-velop and test it. The instigators of the community are a group of citizens with very different backgrounds and experience. To generate interest with new farmers, the community must be able to involve the young farmers and their ideas and allow them to affect the development of the community. The com-munity’s organisation must be able to handle this challenge.
The participation of a local educational institution – a production college – in the development of the community LivSalling has been a good experience. The school contributes with the development of animal housing systems and grazing methods. In addition, it has strengthened the school’s motiva-tion of the young students towards a career within agriculture.
LivSalling developed a concept for milk production in small operations with a low influx of external resources. The key words are:
• Grass-based production, long grazing season
• Season calves and natural weaning of calves
• Small investments in a few machines and mobile animal housing
• Quality products; grass milk has healthy fatty acid compositions and a higher price is expected
• Fund financing; low interest costs
• Cluster development; cooperation with regard to machines, holiday relief, social community