In case you hadn’t heard, BBC Countryfile Live is making its debut this summer, bringing the best that the UK countryside has to offer to the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace. The event recently announced a programme of theatre and talks on topics such as rural, agriculture and farming life, rare breeds, wildlife and environmental issues plus the chance to see and hear the BBC Countryfile presenters in the flesh.
So ahead of the big event we were keen to find out more about rural life and just how farmers make their living.
Meet Jono, a wheat farmer from East Yorkshire and check out what he has to say…….
Tell us about your average day
My day will start at around 06:30am with a cup of coffee and check social media and emails. (I think this is now normal practice for many farmers)
What kind of farmer are you?
I farm Winter Wheat, Spring Barley and Vining Peas. The peas are grown for freezing.
How did you get into farming?
I’m a born and bred farmer, my grandfather and my father both farmed the same farm that I’m now fortunate to farm in East Yorkshire.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a farmer?
This question is the farmers nightmare. However being a food lover it would be along the food theme. Ponder!
How do you switch off?
I guess I’m like most farmers I rarely switch off as your constantly thinking of what improvements you can make.
What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time will usually be spent gleaning information from the likes of twitter. There is wealth of knowledge out there and I feel by using social media for my job its given me free education and ‘I’m always learning’
Being a foodie I also like to visit food fairs and restaurants around the UK.
What challenges do you face as a farmer?
The biggest challenge is always farm gate prices. We put in a lot of money to produce the perfect crops and produce and more often than not we do not get a fair price for the expense and hard graft.
Have you had any funny farming moments? Any mishaps?
I’ve had many funny moments over the years I think the one that comes to mind is when a car full of very attractive women police cadets drove past one of my fields when I was standing on a trailer and as I turned round I fell off the trailer. They did actually stop to see if I was okay. My pride was dented.
What misconception might city dwellers have of you?
In recent years I think the gap has widened, this I guess is because the GP tend to think we are always complaining about how hard it is to make a living, one thing I can say that it’s very hard to make money in farming when world prices are on their knees.
I can turn that round and say to the public that they need to respect the countryside and it will respect the public.
What do you love most about your job?
The things I like about farming is my freedom to be able to travel up and down the country meeting like minded folk. Seeing the seasons change and being up for the challenge of what may be thrown at me on a daily basis. No two days are the same.
BBC Countryfile Live will be taking place from Thursday 4 August until Sunday 7 August. Tickets are available now. Find yours here.