Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomeFarmlifeHow movie profession expertise assist 'Farmer Tom' promote British ag

How movie profession expertise assist ‘Farmer Tom’ promote British ag

A profession within the movie business will not be the standard entrée to the world of agriculture, however for Cambridgeshire arable and regenerative farmer Tom Martin, aka Farmer Tom, this was his actual path.

After 10 profitable years working in movie distribution for Common Photos, and with earlier expertise in enterprise technique and consultancy, Mr Martin determined it was time to return to the household arable farm and provides farming a go.

See additionally: The advantages of integrating timber into productive arable land

He’s now making use of data gained from his earlier profession to advertise British agriculture and share his farming journey.

“I left college and have become a advisor and analyst,” he says.

“Then I labored in information and journal distribution, earlier than working as a gross sales licensee at Common Photos.

“However rising up on farm in north-west Cambridgeshire, I at all times liked the countryside, so I assumed at some point I’d come again to farm.”

Switch of expertise

Since returning to Village Farm in Haddon, Mr Martin has utilized his wealth of enterprise, advertising and communication data to the farm, which grows wheat, barley, rapeseed, linseed and beans.

“There’s actually a variety of transferable ‘tender expertise’ which you be taught in all types of careers that may be taken from enterprise to enterprise, and this consists of agriculture,” he says.

Throughout his early profession, Mr Martin recollects spending numerous time in advertising conferences discussing buyer engagement and product branding.

This acquired him pondering how he might apply this to the world of farming – significantly connecting individuals with their meals.

As a farmer, grower and vendor, his first port of name was to market himself in a means that will be partaking to members of the general public.

From this got here the identify Farmer Tom, which has proved profitable on social media, the place he shares common farming content material with greater than 17,000 followers on Twitter and 11,000 on Fb.

Farmer Time

Subsequent, he wished to painting the eagerness of farming individuals to most of the people, connecting them with those that produce their meals.

His background in movie and public talking produced his subsequent thought: Farmer Time, which has proved an ideal success in selling British agriculture in UK faculties.

The Farmer Time initiative (previously known as FaceTime a Farmer) is a video name between one farmer and their matched classroom, which usually lasts 10-Quarter-hour each two or three weeks.

It presently connects 20,000 schoolchildren every fortnight with their very own UK farmer – 800 farmers are signed-up, every with their very own devoted class.

“College lecturers sometimes e-mail the farmer forward of the scheduled name, detailing what the scholars have been just lately learning.

“Whether or not it’s soils, the pure surroundings or genetics, this could present a possible speaking level for farmers,” says Mr Martin.

“We presently have extra demand from faculties than we have now farmers signed-up, so we’re at all times searching for extra farmers to affix.”

Stroll the Farming Yr 

Having just about showcased his farm, he additionally wished to welcome individuals head to head. This prompted him to enroll in Open Farm Sunday, which attracted a variety of locals of all ages.

Nonetheless, he quickly realised that opening the farm for simply at some point a yr gave the general public solely a restricted snapshot of what life on the farm was actually like.

From this, he got here up with a small diversification enterprise known as Stroll the Farming Yr, which permits members of the general public to return on to the farm for eight guided strolling excursions all through the calendar yr, in return for a small charge.

He talks them by means of the farm’s cropping rotation, the usage of numerous bits of equipment and particulars of among the agronomy.

Group of walkers in a wheat field

A Stroll the Farming Yr tour © Lisa Miosi Images

“We are actually in our second yr and presently have a bunch of 15 individuals, consisting of wildlife fanatics, native villagers and agronomists who’re all keen on agriculture and rural life.

“It’s a actual alternative to carry individuals on farm and clarify first-hand what farming life is all about, whereas additionally producing an revenue,” he says.

One other initiative Mr Martin and his spouse Lisa created is a small neighborhood backyard, which permits plenty of locals to work collectively and get entangled with producing home-grown produce. 

Public talking and abroad ambassador 

Mr Martin can also be a eager public speaker, giving a wide range of talks to farming teams which embody AHDB Monitor Farm conferences and Groundswell discussions. Considered one of his newest talks concerned a visit to Norway.

“I had absolutely the pleasure of sharing my farming journey, errors and successes, with 150 Norwegian farmers and ag professionals keen on regenerative farming.

“I really like the tradition of being open, accepting errors, and studying from them and sharing this with others. It’s so refreshing,” he says.

Farming journey and studying from errors

Eight years into his farming journey Cambridgeshire farmer Tom Martin explains how he by chance fell into the world of regenerative agriculture.

“I’ve by no means been ‘on pattern’ with something, however regen ag is sensible for us,” he says.

The 5 regenerative rules that match properly together with his farming system and are as follows:

  1. Preserve the soil floor coated 
  2. Minimal soil disturbance
  3. Retaining roots within the soil 
  4. Combine grazing livestock 
  5. Enhance biodiversity

“It’s all about doing what’s best for you and utilizing the instruments out there that can assist you obtain your goals in a versatile means,” he says.

“That is why we’re aiming to make our soils extra resilient. We can’t change the climate however we are able to adapt our farming techniques to tolerate this higher.”

Companion crops in OSR

For 15 years the farm operated a min-till system and has since slowly moved to direct drilling.

Using a Sky Easydrill permits him to drill rapeseed and a companion crop combine, and apply di-ammonium phosphate concurrently. “We’ve basically merged 5 operations in only one move,” he says.

Buckwheat, berseem clover and fenugreek (a herb generally used to flavour curries) are planted as a companion combine alongside rapeseed to mitigate cabbage stem flea beetle assaults.

“The buckwheat grows shortly to cowl the bottom, whereas the fenugreek masks the scent to disguise the OSR,” he explains. “We purpose to drill as early as potential, in July if potential.”

Farmer stands beside flowering rape field

© Lisa Miosi Images

The pest has proved an enormous challenge for the farm, however a mixture of wholesome soils, companion crops and silica sprays strengthening crops has proved efficient through the years.

“No pesticides are utilized and a latest flea beetle pyrethroid resistance take a look at revealed 25% of flea beetles to be resistant. We nonetheless discover a flea beetle in each subject, however crops are not broken.”

Blackgrass stays one other important problem, and each choice made on farm takes blackgrass into consideration.

Lowering tillage to cease the seed-bed from being disrupted and incorporating extra spring crops into the combo, akin to beans and linseed, helps deal with the problem.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments