PCF hears from Just Farmers

July 15, 2022

This week, the PCF heard from Anna Jones, who runs Just Farmers – media education for those working in agriculture. Just Farmers received a grant for £20,000 from the PCF in April 2019, allowing them to run eight workshops. So far, six of these have taken place, meaning that 72 farmers have received four free days of training.

Just Farmers was set up to help tackle the growing disconnect between farmers and the media. Anna is a journalist who has worked on programmes such as BBC Countryfile and Farming Today, as well as the Archers, and has also written a book on this subject – ‘Divide: the relationship crisis between town and country’. In 2016, Anna received a Nuffield Scholarship, where she looked at how the mainstream media portrays farming to the public. Off the back of this, Anna decided she wanted to help farmers get their voice across.

Just Farmers aims to bridge the disconnect and get more independent and diverse farming voices in the media by:

  • Improving farmers’ understanding of how the media works
  • Building confidence and communication skills
  • Breaking out of the comfort zone
  • Facilitating balanced discussion and
  • Connecting farmers directly to the media.

As well as the above benefits, farmers often refer to the workshops as ‘free therapy’. Much like our Farm Resilience Programme, which brings farmers together in small groups and allows them to connect with people in similar situations, the Just Farmers sessions ensure that farmers don’t feel alone in trying to showcase all the wonderful things about agriculture.

Ellie Burnage, Head of External Affairs said: “It was great to hear from Anna about the impact Just Farmers is having. This is a difficult time for the industry, and it was really heartening to hear about all the positives that farmers have taken away from the programme – particularly their increased confidence.”

Since starting Just Farmers in 2018, farmers who’ve participated have appeared in more than 500 media and public appearances – from national newspapers in the UK through to pieces in Japan, Norway, and Finland!

One farmer who has taken part in the program said: “I would recommend this course to any farmer who feels they want to share information on their business and how it works. This course gives access to a range of experts that you won’t ger anywhere else – it’s a real opportunity for farmers to gain confidence in sharing the positive message of UK agriculture.”

You can find out more about Just Farmers on their website: www.justfarmers.org