Radmila Líkařová’s horse farm is located in South Bohemia (Czech Republic). Together with her family, she focuses on horse breeding. Within her long-established riding club Dolli she deals with the organisation of summer camps with horses, riding classes, horse driving, training and equine-assisted therapy. Some of these activities are supported by funds from the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Farm income comes mainly from horse breeding activities and field cropping. Due to the unique architecture of the historical farm buildings, Radmila received a funding from Ministry of Culture that was used for its renovation. Mrs Líkařová took over the farm from her father, who obtained a support dedicated to the early retirement of farmers from the European Rural Development Funds.
Name: Radmila Líkařová.
Birth year: 1969.
Education: Radmila holds an apprenticeship certificate in jewellery manufacture. She attended a training programme for farmers and obtained various certificates for horse breeding and training.
Farm location: Zálší 3, Veselí nad Lužnicí 391 81.
Farm Area in ha: 71,07 ha (own 28,5 ha; leasehold 42,57 ha).
Farm description: The horse farm of Radmila Líkařová and her husband is a family farm with a long history. The family from her father’s side have been cattle and horse breeders for years. Radmila took over the farm from her father in 2003 and since then started further developing already-established horse breeding and related activities such as horse summer camps, riding classes and training, hippotherapy etc.
The family also deals with field cropping. Barley, oats, wheat and oilseed rape are grown on the farm and sold directly from the farm. Therefore, plant production represents an additional income. They are involved in organisation of various local events and horse competitions. to this day, Radmila and her husband are the only full-time workers on the farm, however during harvest time, their son, son-in-law and nearby farmers come to help.
Thanks to the persistent interest in horse-related activities from the public’s side, the overall financial situation of the farm is stable. However, one must say that horse breeding is rather a matter of heart and could not be done for profit-making purposes. Because of their crops, their income depends a lot on current weather, yields and market price.
Radmila’s father obtained in the farm succession process a support called “Early retirement of farmers” from the European Funds for Rural Development. This support motivated him to pass on the farm to his daughter and helped to overcome the financial difficulties.
Radmila also applied to the Local Action Group for subsidies from the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to help her finance the children summer camps. This fund helps her to cover the costs of the summer camp and make the camps available to a higher number of children.
Another substantial financial aid was a fund obtained through the Ministry of Culture in 2019 and used for the renovation of listed farm buildings with a unique architecture typical of Southern Czechia.
They are planning in the future to pursue current activities and hopefully hand over the farm to their successors.
“In the case of smaller family farms, I believe that diversification is very important and nearly necessary. The process of the expansion of activities on the farm, that may be also of non-agricultural character, opens up a number of new possibilities for financing these activities, from other areas, such as tourism, education, culture, etc.”
Training experiences and gaps: Apart from the training programme for farmers and horse breeding certificates, Radmila did not receive any specific farm management training. A great advantage, however, were the peasant genes she inherited from her ancestors, as well as her love for horses and a positive attitude towards farming. Her husband and all her family can also be considered as an asset as they support Radmila in all activities. She believes that common sense, endurance and passion for your work are the most important things to develop a successful farming business.
Final considerations: The support that obtained her father for his early retirement helped a lot in the beginning of their farming business and Radmila wished that this subsidy programme was not terminated in the Czech Republic. An important deal of Radmila´s finance management also include funds obtained outside of the agriculture field. So far, she has had a positive experience with funds collection and is very satisfied with the funds she received. However, she notes that the application process is not always easy and sometimes requires the help of a professional consulting company. Yet, she obtained the funding in most cases without further complications. Nonetheless, she never succeeded with the very complicated application for subsidies for agricultural machinery and always faces investment problems on this issue.
They sometimes use for their business needs legal and other counselling provided by Association of Private Farming of the Czech Republic, of which they have been long-time members.
She considers being active in her field of interest (i.e. horse caring) a very important aspect of farming and follows interesting ideas and trends from other areas that could be applied to and connected with her business. In other words, she is always open to new challenges.