The legacy of a young dairy farmer who died in tragic circumstances last year is set to live on as his father seeks a new entrant to farm the holding.

Owen Carlisle had built up a successful dairy business at Llainrhydwen, Newcastle Emlyn, with his father Egan before he took his own life after struggling with mental health issues.

Mr Carlisle, who sold the milking herd after Owen’s death, has now turned to Farming Connect’s Venture programme in his search for a first-generation farmer to farm the 160-acre holding.

Venture is an initiative designed to pair up landowners who are looking to step back from the industry with new entrants, offering funding for business planning and legal guidance.

Mr Carlisle is adamant that the farming opportunity must be offered to someone starting out in the industry.

“Owen came home to farm when he was 16 and I want to give that opportunity to another youngster, someone who is trying to get onto the farming ladder,’’ he says.

“It is so hard for a youngster to get into dairy farming, the farm is set up as a dairy farm and I want someone else to benefit from what we have done here.’’

Mr Carlisle’s parents had themselves come to Llainrhydwen as new entrants with no family background in farming.

At one point the family was milking 140 cows and invested £80,000 in a 14/28 Waikato parlour.

In recent years, cow numbers were scaled back to 60 Montbéliardes, a breed that Owen favoured.

As well as the milking parlour, the farm is well equipped with a 3,000-litre bulk tank, cubicle housing for up to 120 cows, silage and slurry storage and a dedicated calf shed with a feed passage for rearing youngstock from birth through to turnout.

There is also accommodation – an annex to the farmhouse that would be suitable for a small family.

Mr Carlisle hopes he can get someone in place by September and, in the meantime, is growing silage to provide fodder for any livestock that might be at the farm in the winter.

Although the farm is 160 acres, he says the new entrant does not necessarily have to start with the entire acreage.

“There would be an opportunity to grow into it as some could be rented out for summer grazing until all the land is needed.’’

Since Owen’s death last June, the farm has been rented out for summer grazing and winter sheep tack and Mr Carlisle also retained 30 yearlings.

He doesn’t want to sell the farm but is ready to take a step back.

Although there has been interest from existing farmers keen to run it as a satellite farm, Mr Carlisle doesn’t want to go down that route.

He is pleased that he has the opportunity to use Venture to help with his search.

“It is a good initiative that brings together existing farmers like me who are no longer keen to be hands-on farmers but who don’t want to sell and young people looking for opportunities to farm.’’

Einir Davies, who manages the Farming Connect Venture programme said: “I have the greatest respect for Mr Carlisle who under the most tragic circumstances has shown such courage and strength. His dedication to searching for a young farmer to work alongside him again and his desire to give this opportunity to a genuine new entrant is to be admired.”

Anyone interested in Mr Carlisle’s opportunity are advised not to contact him directly. Contact Farming Connect to express an interest and they will coordinate enquiries on Mr Carlisle’s behalf.

Venture is a land matching service delivered under the Farming Connect programme. It’s designed to match older farmers looking to take a step back from full time farming with young entrants looking for a route into the industry. When a match is established it can also provide business and legal advice to establish a new joint venture.

There are currently around 60 providers actively looking for a match on Venture. Any potential ‘Seekers’ (the name given to young entrants looking for opportunities though the Venture programme) are required to complete a profile on the Farming Connect website before they can access the full list of opportunities.