Posted 14 April 2020
“There are some big issues that need airing about the food and farming sector. So we are urging everyone who cares, and who has a story to tell or a point of view to get across, to become involved."
Two former Harper Adams University students are succeeding in sharing the human stories of food and farming, thanks to their digital platform EatFarmNow.
The EatFarmNow team has also now partnered with the NFU to launch #LockdownLearning project which aims to help children learn and connect with agriculture during the coronavirus lockdown.
Alongside farming and farm business consulting, Will Evans and Simon Haley have also built up a wealth of digital communications experience since graduating from their agriculture courses. Will graduated in 2002 while Simon completed his undergraduate degree in 2009 and then his postgraduate degree in 2013.
In 2019 they brought their expertise together and united with agricultural journalists and media agencies to launch EatFarmNow, a digital platform hub, which is ‘about the stories behind food – straight from people in the world’s fields, barns, plantations, kitchens and markets’.
“This is about real, on-the-ground, muddy-boots stories, told by the people,” Will explained. “The website features podcasts, videos, blogs, features and more; and we are always seeking new contributors.
“We hope that EatFarmNow will make it easier for anyone interested in food and farming to find the stories that interest them; ultimately, we hope that through the platform, people will better understand how, where and why food is produced the way it is.
“We want to amplify the great content out there and to inspire people not to just watch but also to create.”
Which is why Will and Simon are calling out to the next generation of Harper Adams graduates, as well as alumni and other sector leaders, to get involved.
Simon said: “There are some big issues in food and farming that need better explaining and discussing, so that we move towards a more rounded understanding. We are urging everyone who cares, and who can tell a story, view, perspective, or give a behind-the-scenes insight, to become involved.
"We are looking for good quality writers, vloggers and podcasters. If you haven't done this before, you can still get involved, you just need to show us a sample of your work. Visit the website and click ‘Contribute’.”
The team has also worked in collaboration with the NFU to launch #LockdownLearning project which provides exciting educational farming activities for children while they are away from school.
Children will hear first-hand about how their food gets from farm to fork, with well-known farming faces such as Countryfile’s Adam Henson and TV presenter Jimmy Doherty who will be documenting their farming journey through online videos and social media.
Educational resources designed by the NFU’s education team of former teachers will be available for parents to use, as well as activities from other educational farming programmes.
Will said: “While the coronavirus occupies the headlines, our farmers are getting on with the day job, producing high quality food for us all. I hope that hearing from us first-hand will excite and inspire children and using subjects like science and technology will help them to learn more about these important areas of the national curriculum via food and farming projects.
“In the coming weeks and months, I encourage all farmers and growers to get involved and post their own videos on social media using the #LockdownLearning hashtag and to join this project which will help reconnect children with the great outdoors.”