QRIDA’s Tegan giving the next generation a new lease on life in ag

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22 January 2024

With rising land prices making it difficult to gain a foothold in the agricultural industry, QRIDA’s Tegan McBride is helping up-and-coming farmers locked out of the rural property market embark on alternative pathways to a career on the land.

“Lease-farming is a great way to get a start in primary production without the high debt and risk associated with land ownership,” she said.

“This way, you can invest your money in other capital such as equipment, machinery, livestock, or crops, while you build a business case for your farm operation.

“Then, when you’re ready to invest in your own land, you’ll be able to show the cashflow and farming experience you’ve built while lease-farming which may look attractive on a rural property loan application.” 

The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) has First Start Loans of up to $2 million that can help aspiring producers enter lease-farming arrangements. 

“These concessional loans are available to help aspiring primary producers build their farm business as part of a longer-term plan to operate a viable enterprise,” Tegan said. 

As the QRIDA Regional Area Manager for Central Coast and Whitsundays, Tegan has experience helping a range of primary producers, and said lease-farming benefits all involved.

“Farmers who are transitioning into retirement can continue to make money and reduce expenses by leasing blocks of their land, and those impacted by fluctuating markets might also benefit from lease-farming to create a diverse income stream and maximise the productivity of their property,” Tegan said.

“For primary producers who are getting started, lease-farming can give them an opportunity to try their hand at farming while gaining knowledge from the lessor producer who might take on a mentor role.” 

There are three top tips Tegan has for primary producers who are considering lease-farming. 

“If you have existing relationships with your farming community, you could approach farmers looking to retire to find out if they might be looking to drop back on some areas of land that you could lease,” Tegan said.

“Once you’ve found the right country that is suitable to your operation, make sure you get a written lease agreement in place, outlining clear expectations for the lease including the term of the lease and use access.

“Finally, have a clear goal in mind for what you are going to do when the lease agreement ends, whether you are ready to invest in your own block of land or continue leasing.” 

Tegan encourages Queenslanders who are passionate about agriculture to consider a long-term career in the industry. 

“While it might seem a bit daunting at first, primary production is a really worthwhile and rewarding career and you have the ability to produce something tangible that helps feed other families,” she said.

“If you have any questions about how QRIDA could help you make your dream farm business a reality, please contact us.” 

For more information about how QRIDA’s First Start Loans could help you enter lease-farming arrangements, visit QRIDA's First Start Loan web page or call QRIDA on 1800 623 946.

QRIDA Regional Area Manager for the Central Coast and Whitsundays

QRIDA Regional Area Manager for Central Coast and Whitsundays Tegan McBride is helping aspiring farmers rethink how they can enter the agricultural industry through lease-farming arrangements.


Last updated: 22 January 2024