Today we’re heading to Monmouthshire in south Wales to meet Dan Smith who is Farm Manager at Jamie’s Farm in Monmouth. Jamie’s Farm have a four-winged approach – farming, family, therapy and legacy and they have 6 farms across England and Wales on to which they invite these young people to stay on the farm with the team for five days. Dan himself grew up on various farms across England and Wales as his father was a farm manager. Before joining Jamie’s Farm he ran a business in the Cotswolds specialising in farm maintenance, conservation management and farming cover. He has a passion for sharing his experience and helping others to appreciate the countryside.
Ben Eagle is the founder and Head of Podcasts at RuralPod Media, a specialist rural podcast production agency. He is also a freelance rural affairs and agricultural journalist. You can find out more at ruralpodmedia.co.uk or benjamineagle.co.uk
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A-Plan Rural Insurance
This episode is sponsored by our primary sponsor A Plan Rural.
Image credit: Jamie’s Farm
00:27 Ben introduces the show.
1:50 Dan comes in.
2:06 Dan tells Ben about Monmouthshire.
3:55 What is Jamie’s Farm, what does it stand for and what does it do?
7:18 How did Jamie’s Farm start and who is Jamie?
9:07 How did Dan first get involved with the charity?
10:15 Covid, cost of living and the ‘demand’ for the service.
12:33 Dan’s day to day is varied.
15:02 Sponsor message about A Plan Rural Insurance.
15:48 Do the young people who come to the farm want to be there and do they experience a shift in their thinking?
18:45 Eating together. The importance of the table.
19:50 What has Dan learnt?
20:20 Farming industry not that open minded culturally.
21:53 Rural urban divide – most people don’t mix in both worlds – what is Dan’s perspective? He believe the void between the two is huge.
24:20 The farming industry is coming under a lot of attack in terms of environmental impact.
25:25 The disconnect between where food comes from and what people are prepared to eat.
26:05 What are the kids eating normally?
28:10 The perception of where food comes from.
28:52 Buying local food post covid.
29:42 Dan’s journey to getting to this point. Life growing up.
34:15 The love for the ‘romantic’ side of farming.
35:36 Getting into agriculture without going down the further education route – creating structure.
38:05 Building networks.
38:27 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural.
38:51 Challenges in the wider industry. Especially the challenge of mindset and not being prepared to be challenged.
42:20 Dan’s message for the public.
43:03 Dan’s message to farmers.
43:25 Promo of how to follow Jamie’s Farm.
45:16 Ben rounds up the episode.