Today we’re on the Isle of Man for the first time, to speak to father and son Ean and Harry Parsons. The Parsons’ sheep and beef farm is at Laxey on the eastern side of the island. It’s around 5000 acres in area with 3500 of that moorland. Ean is also the current President of the Manx NFU, and a former Chair of its Meat and Livestock Committee. Harry is a student at Harper Adams studing for a BSc in Agriculture with Farm Business Management. He’s currently on his placement year working as a trainee Rural Business Advisor with SRH Agribusiness.
Ben Eagle is a freelance rural affairs and agricultural journalist and podcaster. He also produces podcasts for a number of other rural organisations. You can find out more at benjamineagle.co.uk
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A-Plan Rural Insurance
This episode is sponsored by our primary sponsor A Plan Rural.
00:27 Ben introduces the show.
1:56 Ean comes in.
2:11 Harry comes in.
2.25 An intro to the Isle of Man
3.32 What is the island like for younger people and growing up on the island
4:41 Harry explains about his time growing up on the island.
6:01 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural Insurance
6:46 Farming on the Isle of Man.
7:50 The north of the Isle of Man is eroding.
9:04 Specific challenges for the Isle of Man.
10:50 What does Harry see are the major differences between the UK and the Isle of Man in terms of ag policy.
13:58 The four pillars of the Isle of Man farming policy.
15:00 How does the Isle of Man work in terms of the regulators.
16:14 How long has Ean been involved with the Manx NFU?
16:50 Labour issues on the Isle of Man.
17:42 Have many of Harry’s friend’s stayed on the Island or moved elsewhere?
19:07 Ean explains how younger people will return to the island when they want to start a family.
19:38 Any movement across to Ireland?
20:20 About the farm at Laxey.
22:40 Dairy farming on the Island.
23:30 Harry explains the strong sense of identity on the Isle of Man.
24:02 Sponsor message for A Plan Rural Insurance.
24:25 The opportunities for the Parsons going forwards.
26:10 Harry explains about his placement.
27:48 Harry going back to Harper.
29:20 Cost of inputs and will it drive innovation?
31:30 The impact of rising costs on Manx farmers.
33:02 Harry says that this will drive farmers to see themselves as rural businesses.
33:35 Concerned farmers approaching Ean.
34:28 Harry and Ean’s messages to the public.
36:43 Harry and Ean’s messages to farmers.
38:26 Recommendations for blogs and podcasts – Pasture Pod About Time series; Defra blogs; Grassmen on YouTube.