Sian Mercer from My Rural Tribe asks the question 'What makes a farmer?'
I love to speak with farmers to find out about their farm, who and what inspires them and what it takes to be a farmer. To hear that passion for what they do, farmers really are my hero!
Take a listen to learn more about the people that feed the nation, care for the landscapes and work with the seasons, who's love for what they do really makes them who they are, sprinkle in some hope and the love of green and the chance to chat, you will learn 'What makes a farmer?'
Episode 11 - James Robinson from Strickley Farm
It was real pleasure to be speak with James and hear all about his farm, family and herd of Shorthorn cattle, who's family line goes back the 5 generations the Robinsons have been at Strickley! 15 years as organic dairy farmers the family farming the same land is ancestors have, laying the same hedges and mending the stone walls, this corner of Cumbria has remained relatively unscathed from modern farming, but mainly due to its awkward landscape, which has been its saving grace! If you want to geek out on hedges, this is the listen for you! Passion & pride are at the forefront of this conversation, I hope you enjoy!
Episode 10 - Susan & Shay - @Seaviewfarms
I loved talking with Susan and Shay about their #regenerativeagriculture journey. They are so passionate about they are doing, regenerating the environment while producing nutrient rich food. An unhealthy obsession with the dung beetle and the love of electric fencing are some of the things we talk about. Most research and books about regenerative agriculture are North American based, Susan is keen to so their own research on the farm, to show Uk farmers that it really does work! Susan and Shay are just starting out on their journey and realise they have the flexibility to take risks, and this is a privilege!
I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as i did!
Books- Greg Judy
Episode 9: Charlie Beaty - @globetrottingfarmgirl
It was a pleasure talking to Charlie aka @globetrottingfarmgirl, as we sat under a tree in a field Meridan, literally middle earth, where she farms with her Dad and Uncle Tom, sheep, beef and arable. Charlie has done so much in such a short time, having grown up on the farm she was 'actively encouraged' to help with the jobs, especially the child friendly sized sheep and steer the Landrover set in low gear (I love being a farm kid!), to going to Harper Adams to study, a placement year with Claas dealership as a demo driver, then off to Oz and NZ on a gap year, saying YES to opportunities! saying YES to getting involved from YFC to NSA bursaries and YES to education! YES to social media and the communitiy and friendship it opens up! YES to new ideas and ways of thinking... The next step... Regenerative farming; after reading Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown, 3 times herself and getting Dad and Uncle Tom to also read it and get on board. Charlie IS one to watch... find her on Instagram for her daily farming life!
Episod 8 - Sam Kenyon @GlanLlyn_farmher
It was lovely to spend time talking to Sam on her sunny farm in Denbighshire in North Wales. Sam, who met her husband, Alex whilst backpacking around Australia and Thailand came back to the farm a few years ago. Both had been diving instructors in Thailand and had seen the destruction and pollution being created by humans. On coming back to Wales, to take over the running of the family farm, Sam has taken on the gauntlet of 'If we want to be SEE the change, we need to BE the change'.
Sam is building up her flock of sheep, and her herd of goats to work with the farm, not against it. Living alongside a river that floods annually, she is reclaiming tenanted land back along the river and returning it to meadow land, to ease erosion and take advantage of the nutritious silt that is left behind. Being curious, asking questions, working on other farms and taking advantage of training by Farming Connect has been invaluable.
Sam's passion for what she has achieved and will achieve is inspiring! Enjoy hearing her talk about Glan Llyn.
Episode 7 - Helen Owens - The Wernbach Shepherdess
It was a joy to speak with Helen the @wernbachshepherdess, especially in these strange times of Covid-19, of week 4 of Lock-In.
I follow Helen on instagram and love seeing life from her smallholding in Flintshire. Helen and her husband started their own flock of South Down sheep, for no other reason that they look cute, but have soon realised what a great terminal sire they are! With help from breeders, friends , neighbouring farmers and Farming Connect, they have received help and advice as well as the old 'get stuck in and have a go'. We spoke about the joy each season and Helens slight obsession with her flocks sex life come September! Being open about her post-natal depression and how having to get on and out to look after the livestock with a new born baby has given her confidence in herself.
And in the great words of Chaka Khan 'I'm every woman' will now follow me as I strut around in my waterproofs! Hurrah!
Episode 6 - Olly Harrison
I met Olly last year at a school in Derby, I was taking photos, he was helping educate the kids about arable farming along with the NFU Education team. The other week I saw him on LinkedIn as he gave an interview from the safety of his tractor cab, where he has been Isolating as he plants the spring crops. We chat about why being Dyslexic is a gift, how sunflowers change lives and how the weather is really the only route to profitability! Olly is not a man to sit still, either tone out on the farm or looking for the next diversification opportunity!
Wheres Olly? On all the socials - @agricontract or @OllyHarrison to keep up to date with his farming story!