Rock and Roll Farming Podcast

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – AgriCOOLture


Tonight I’m heading all the way down to Waikato in New Zealand to talk to recent graduate and farmer, Emily Davis.

We talk about what she’s doing in New Zealand, and how it’s a long way from her native Lincolnshire where she grew up surrounded by large arable farms and wanting to be a farmer.

We discuss the brilliant ‘careers advice’ she received at school, where she was discouraged from pursuing a career in agriculture, and her decision to ring a local farmer to ask for work experience, which led to two years of various roles on farms around the country.

We talk about her participation in the Farmer’s Weekly Farm Apprentice Bootcamp in 2016, and what she got from that, before going on to talk at length about the Youth Ag summit, that she attended in Brussels last year, and what an incredible experience the was. We go into the various things that were discussed there with delegates from all around the World, and what the three main things she took away from it were.

(For further information on next year’s Youth Ag Summit, in Brazil, check out www.youthagsummit.com )

All this and much, much more.

Emily’s a real inspiration to anyone looking to get into agriculture as a career, and it was a real pleasure to talk to her tonight.

Check it out folks..

 

 

Episode Sponsor:

NFU Cymru – for more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org.uk

 

Podcast Partners:

Farmer’s Guardian. For the biggest range of news and features from across the Ag industry, please visit www.fginsight.com

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. To find more great podcasts and vlogs, please visit www.farmruralag.com

Rock & Roll Farming Podcast – NFU Mutual ‘Ahead of the Field’ Special


Rock & Roll Farming is proud to present the first NFU Mutual ‘Ahead of the Field’ podcast.

We visited Lyndon Farms in Leicestershire to look at their diversification into Agri-Contracting.

To find other podcasts in the series, or to subscribe, search for ‘NFU Mutual’ in your podcast app.

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – Pure Kent


Tonight I’m delighted to be heading down to the far south East of England, to Kent, to talk to Guy & Claire Eckley @No1FarmerGuy @PureKent

We talk about their backgrounds growing up on farms in Kent & Mid-Wales respectively, and how after University Claire moved down to Kent and got involved with the local YFC where Guy was a member (Still not entirely clear who chatted up who initially..).

We also talk all about their diversification into Oilseed Rape Oil production and how it’s developed over the years, and the various ways they market and sell it, from wholesale to farmer’s markets.

We discuss the farm itself, and the crops they grow there, as well as the two different tillage systems they use, and the pros and cons of both.

We go into their continued involvement in YFC over the years, from being members themselves, to Claire forming a new club where their boys now both attend.

And we also talk about Claire’s breast cancer that she contracted in 2012, the difficulties it caused, and how that ultimately changed her perspective on life.

All this and much, much more.

Guy and Claire are great people, and great farmers, and it was an absolute pleasure to talk to them tonight and find out more about what they do.

Check it out folks..

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – Farming in the City


Tonight I’m delighted to be heading down to London to talk to the CEO of Kentish Town City Farm, Gus Alston @GusAlston @KTCityFarm

We talk about his early life growing up very close to the farm, and how getting involved with Forest School Camps as a child eventually led him becoming a volunteer with the organisation at the age of 18, before going on to hear about how he got first got into the charity sector almost by accident, when helping to build an adventure playground he ended up as a deputy coordinator in charge of 120 children!

We discuss the various different jobs he’s done, including a spell at the Pirate Castle, a community boating charity, where he achieved his highest ever fundraising success, (an incredible £234k!) before going on to talk about his eventually working with Kentish town city farm as a consultant, and then gaining the job of CEO in December 2016.

We talk about the farm in detail, from the different animals they have there, to the regular events they hold, and the incredible role it plays in the community. We discuss the different ways they have to make money to keep going, with funding cuts making things increasingly difficult for small charities, as well as the different ways the farm helps all ages of people, either educationally or therapeutically.

All this and lots more.

I’m always humbled when I speak to individuals who dedicate their lives to helping others, and bringing people together, and Gus is definitely one of them. It was fantastic to learn more about what they do at Kentish Town City Farm.

Check it out folks..

 

 

Episode Sponsor:

NFU Cymru – for more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org.uk

 

Podcast Partners:

Farmer’s Guardian. For the biggest range of news and features from across the Ag industry, please visit www.fginsight.com

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. To find more great podcasts and vlogs, please visit www.farmruralag.com

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – YFC 4 Life


Tonight I’m heading up to Withnell in Lancashire to talk to marketing officer, freelance journalist, and Vice Chairman of Lancashire YFC, Alice Singleton @alicemay_sing

We start of by talking about her family farm, that her parents bought 12 years ago, and the herd of Angus & Hereford Cows they run there, before going on to talk about their exciting diversification project, a gin distillery! We talk about Cuckoo Gin in detail, including the local ingredients they use, and how sustainability is so important to the business (For more info: www.brindledistillery.co.uk ).

We talk about the various jobs she does, from being a full time Marketing Officer at Lancashire wildlife Trust, to trying to build up a freelance journalism and photography business, and what she enjoys most about the different roles. We also talk about rural crime, and how it’s affected her and her family recently, with two different break-ins at their farms.

Lastly, we talk in depth about her 13 year involvement in the Young Farmers Clubs, from a 12 year old new member, right on through to becoming Vice Chairman of Lancashire YFC, and winning the the prestigious NFYFC Member of the Year.

We go into what YFC means to her, and what she’s got out of it over the years, before we move on to discuss the recent controversial cancellation of the annual convention. We hear her opinions on the subject, and what she thinks might happen next.

All this and much, much more.

It was fantastic to talk to someone as articulate, passionate and enthusiastic as Alice for the podcast tonight, and hear her views on a wide range of subjects.

Check it out folks..

 

 

Episode Sponsors:

AFTP – Agrifood Training Partnership. Please visit www.aftp.co.uk/podcast to check out a wide range of agriculture-related online courses. For 10% discount on selected courses use the word ‘podcast’ at check out!

NFU Cymru – for more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org.uk

 

Podcast Partners:

Farmer’s Guardian. For the biggest range of news and features from across the Ag industry, please visit www.fginsight.com

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. To find more great podcasts and vlogs, please visit www.farmruralag.com

Rock & Roll Farming Podcast – Sam Watson Jones


Today I’m heading over the border to Sunny Shropshire to talk to farmer and co-founder of Small Robot Company, Sam Watson Jones @samjwj @smallrobotco

We talk about his family’s farm near Newport where they’ve been for 4 generations, and the various enterprises they have going on there, and also Sam’s decision to become a farmer whilst studying english literature at Newcastle University.

We go into the various job’s he during the 5 years he spent away from the farm, including teaching at a tough inner city secondary school, and working for a global consultancy firm. We also discuss some of the changes he made after returning to the farm, including why he felt diversifying the business’s income streams was so important.

We then talk about Small Robot company at length, including how it initially came about, how the robots (Tom, Dick, Harry, and Wilma) work, what they’re trying to achieve with it, and how robotics are going to change agriculture sooner than we all think.

Will the robots rise up and murder him in his sleep? Who knows, but in the meantime, it was fantastic to talk to such an enterprising and entrepreneurial man as Sam, and learn more about Small Robot Company.

Check it out folks..

 

Episode Sponsors:

AFTP – Agrifood Training Partnership. Please visit www.aftp.co.uk/podcast to check out a wide range of agriculture-related online courses. For 25% discount on ‘poultry health online’ sign up now. To sign up for the free course ‘Understanding food supply Systems’ please visit www.futurelearn.com/courses/food-supply-systems

NFU Cymru – for more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org.uk

 

Podcast Partners:

Farmer’s Guardian. For the biggest range of news and features from across the Ag industry, please visit www.fginsight.com

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. To find more great podcasts and vlogs, please visit www.farmruralag.com

 

www.rockandrollfarming.com

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – Jones the Journo


Tonight I’m delighted to be travelling down to the bight lights of Bristol to talk to journalist, Anna Jones @Jonesthejourno

We talk about her early life growing up on her family’s beef and sheep farm in the Welsh borders, and her decision at an early age to become a journalist. We hear about some of her early reporting jobs and her experiences there, before going on to getting a job on popular BBC TV show Countryfile as a researcher in 2006.

We talk about her time on Countryfile and her experiences there in depth, including why it divides opinion amongst farmers, broadcasting legend John Craven nearly being squashed by a 30ft Christmas tree, and I also attempt to find out who the biggest diva amongst the presenters is!

We then discuss her time at flagship BBC Radio 4 programme Farming Today, and some of the differences between working in TV and Radio, and some of the amazing stories that she covered there.

We hear about her Nuffield Scholarship – ‘Help or Hinder? How the Mainstream Media Portrays Farming to the Public’ and what she found out along the journey, before moving on to talk about her new initiative – Just Farmers – that will actively seek out and train farmers how to talk to the media and improve communication skills, and help to increase the public’s understanding of agriculture.

All this and plenty more.

Anna’s passion for agriculture and rural life is evident throughout the interview, and it was an absolute pleasure to talk to her tonight.

Check it out folks..

 

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural ag Network. For more great podcasts and vlogs please visit www.farmruralag.com

This episode is kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru. For more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org.uk

ROCK & ROLL FARMING IS PROUD TO BE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FARMER’S GUARDIAN. FOR NEWS AND INSIGHTS FROM ACROSS THE AG INDUSTRY PLEASE VISIT www.fginsight.com

For more info on Rock & Roll Farming, visit www.rockandrollfarmingcom

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – Strawberry Fields Forever


Tonight I’m heading up to Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire in Scotland to talk to soft fruit grower Ross Mitchell @rjmitch21

We talk about his family’s farm and their decision to stop dairying in 1999 and expand their 15 acres of strawberries to commercial scale.

We discuss the polytunnels that they grow all their fruit under, which have allowed them to lengthen the growing season from 6 weeks of mid summer, to 8 months of the year.

We go into how they’re using their geographical location to their advantage, before talking in detail about the 4 fruits they grow at Castleton – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries – and the process from planting, right the way through harvesting, and eventually them leaving the farm on supermarket lorries.

We also talk bees! 110,000 of ’em!! They’re bought in to polinate 10 million strawberry flowers, 20 million blueberry flowers, 1.6 million raspberry flowers, 0.5 million cherry flowers – man do they get through some work!

We discuss their labour force at Castleton, which includes 600 EU workers each year, with 450 being there at peak season, and some of the jobs that they do, before going on to talk about the increasing problem of getting access to European labour, and the serious consequences to the UK soft fruit industry.

We also talk about how the family have invested heavily in renewable energy, and their successful farm shop www.castletonfarmshop.co.uk that’s run by Ross’s Wife Anna.

All this and much, much more. It was fantastic to talk to someone as innovative and forward thinking as Ross, and learn more about the Scottish soft fruit industry.

Check it out folks..

 

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be in partnership with Farmer’s Guardian. For news and insights from across the Ag industry, please visit www.fginsight.com

This episode is kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru. For more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. For more great podcasts and vlogs, check out  www.farmruralag.com

Rock and Roll Farming Podcast – Stand by your Ham


Tonight I’m delighted to be heading up to Driffield in East Yorkshire to talk to Sisters and award winning pig farmers, Kate Moore and Vicky Scott @KateMorgan24 @vickypig27

The girls tell us about their family business, which their parents, David & Sue, started in 1996 with 800 breeding sows, selling the progeny as weaners. We also hear how they both got involved, initially by just helping out, and they’ve never been allowed to leave!

We discuss the business as it is now, with 1700 indoor, and 1200 outdoor sows, and the different systems involved, and how despite their slat based system being more profitable, why they’d prefer to rear them all on straw yards for welfare reasons.

We talk about how they manage their different roles within the business, with 5 family members involved, and how the pecking order was established early on with some Sister on Sister pitchfork violence!!

We hear about the importance of strict biosecurity, and how that’s helped to reduce antibiotic use, and also how running their own feed mill has helped them really control the quality of the pigs feed and have more influence over costs.

We also discuss the importance of communicating what we do as farmers and food producers to our customers, and what they’re doing to help in this regard, including regularly talking to school children.

And I couldn’t not ask about the record they took part in ‘STAND BY YOUR HAM’ a few years back to highlight poor prices in the pig industry (AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE – AMAZING!!)

All this and lots, lots more.

It was fantastic to talk to Vicky and Kate and learn more about large scale pig production in the UK and what they’re doing on their farm, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where they take their business over the coming years.

Check it out folks..

 

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. For more great agriculture related podcasts and vlogs, please visit www.farmruralag.com

This episode is kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru. For more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org.uk or www.rockandrollfarming.com

Rock & Roll Farming is proud to be in partnership with Farmer’s Guardian. For news and insights from across the Ag industry, please visit www.fginsight.com

Rock and Roll Podcast – Farming, Bagpipes, & History


Tonight I’m heading for the very first time to the Great White North, to Canada! Or to Endiang, in Southern Alberta to be exact, to talk to cattle and crop farmer, Stuart Somerville @Stuthefarmer

We talk about the prairies where he lives, and the kind of farming people are doing in that area, and some of the challenges they face there, including coyotes, cougars, plagues of gophers, and drought.

We discuss Stu’s 4th generation farming operation which stretches to 4000ac of barley and canola, and calving 350 head of Maine-Anjou Cattle this year

We go into his early career, and why he chose to be school teacher for several years, before eventually returning to the family farm and starting a family.

We discuss his plans to be ‘a proper cattleman’, and what that really means, and how he wants to replace as much of the tractor and quad work as much as possible with horses going forward.

We also talk about bagpipes! Stu’s been playing them since he was 7 years old, and has played at the world pipe band championships in Scotland in 2004.

We also discuss how he ran for Parliament twice in ’08 and ’10, how he’s trying to put something back into the industry by getting involved with the Alberta Beef Producers as a delegate, as well as talking about social media, and what he loves about it, and also how sometimes he wants to burn the whole thing down!

I also couldn’t talk to Stu without talking about his love of history, and why he’s so interested in both the early pioneers, and the native people of Canada, as well as his own family stories.

All this and much, much more.

Stu’s one of my favourite people to follow on twitter, and it was fantastic to finally speak to him, and learn more about his farming life in Alberta. Check it out folks..

 

 

Rock and Roll Farming is proud to be a part of the Farm & Rural Ag Network. For more great podcasts, blogs, and digital content, please visit www.farmruralag.com

This episode is kindly sponsored by NFU Cymru. For more information please visit www.nfu-cymru.org or www.rockandrollfarming.com

Rock and Roll Farming is extremely proud to be working in partnership with Farmer’s Guardian. For all the latest news and features from across the Ag industry, head to www.fginsight.com

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