Stories from the farm of agri-influencer Tom Pemberton

Written by Richard Halleron from Agriland

‘Make hay while the sun shines’ is a new book from well-known UK dairy farmer and sheep producer, Tom Pemberton.

It relates a year of stories of what it is truly like to be managing cows and breeding sheep on a daily basis.

Two overarching themes jump out from the pages of the book: Farming is a family business and how could one ever survive without the help of neighbours.

Tom farms with his father, Andy, referred to throughout the book as the ‘Ginger Warrior’. The book is filled with anecdotes from the father, who has an amazing ability to see the humorous side of farming, no matter how pressurised life can become.

A case in point is the following:

“If you can’t drive the best vehicle in the world, drive the worst in the world: You are equally well noticed, either way.”

Prior to me reading the book, I hadn’t heard of Tom Pemberton. Six years ago, he uploaded a video on YouTube, featuring the farm’s then new-milk vending machine. It was an instant success.

So much so that Tom now uploads videos twice and, sometimes, three times per week, and is the presenter of the BBC 3 show The Fast and the Farmer-ish.

The need for the farming sectors to communicate more effectively with the consuming public is obvious, and the industry will need guys like Tom Pemberton to keep on doing what they do.

Up to now, the farming hierarchy has made a pretty poor fist of communicating the tremendous job that farmers do in providing food 24/7, never mind delivering a beautiful countryside for everyone to enjoy

The new book fills a genuine gap in the market. It tells the real story of modern farming, but in ways that anyone – irrespective of their background – could understand.

The humour within the book jumps out from almost every page and it’s all very easy to inwardly digest – I had it read in a few hours, courtesy of two sittings.

So well done to Tom and all his family members. I wish them all many happy farming years ahead.

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...