From Cupid to Cowpats: how a dating website inspired a farming revolution

AgriEducate is a great supporter of all enterprises aiming to help people rediscover agriculture. Cultivate Farms does just that by acting as a matchmaking service between interested future farmers and those looking to move on. Here Taryn Hunter delves into the beginnings of Cultivate Farms. Original article.

No longer is heading to the bar and flirting with the first person who eyes you across a vodka cranberry the first step to meeting the love of your life. Instead you jump online and wax lyrically about yourself in two short paragraphs, then cross your fingers and pray that the magical algorithm in the back end of some website will connect you with the love of your life.

This rise of the robot has also unfortunately resulted in a greater disconnect between our aging, retiring rural farming community, and the young guns who are itching to take their place. These up and comers might be ready to take on a farm, hoping these a perfect farm match is out there for them, but how do they make these connections when traditional courting rituals, (i.e. driving up every farm driveway, meeting at the footy, or at the RSL) won’t allow them to meet enough farmers to make the chances high?

And this is essentially how the ideal for Cultivate Farms was born.

Farm management and equity arrangements aren’t our skills. What we’re good at is connecting people, inspiring them, guiding them and working to find farm ownership solutions. So we thought, what if we just did the first bit, the match making, and left it up to those parties to work through the details of a farm arrangement with their trusted advisors?

At the end of the day, we can’t guarantee that people will hit it off; it’s as risky as meeting that guy online who “says” he’s 6 foot and doesn’t still live with his mother. But we should be able to get it right pretty often, because we know the qualities necessary and the vital attributes needed to successfully run a farming business, because it’s our passion and it’s in our blood.

The stakes too are just as high as matchmaking – you’re investing time and energy into something that is of high value, both emotionally and financially.

Just like dating, if a match doesn’t work, then we are there to help people move on and find that perfect farming match, for that investment that will hopefully last a lifetime.

And for the record, all the co-founders haven’t even used a dating website! So the idea definitely wasn’t to build a farm version. We always had the intention to get young people onto farms, but took inspiration from the love match-making world because at the end of the day it’s all about connections.

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