Young Farmers' big day relived as wedding is screened on Channel 4
Blackford young farmer James Hole relived his wedding when he made his television debut last week on Channel 4 documentary series First Time Farmers.
The five-part series, which looks at all aspects of farming through the eyes of the younger generation, revealed all about dairy farmer James’ life in rural Somerset.
James, 26, and a member of Wedmore Young Farmers Club (YFC), married vet and fellow club member Alice during filming last summer.
He said: “Filming wasn’t the easiest thing. It was sometimes difficult to get the perspective of where the producers were coming from.
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“The hardest bit is when they ask you to do something again because they weren’t filming. It was priceless the first time, but you could sell it cheap the second time round.”
James got involved in the show after the production company visited a Somerset Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs meeting to discuss the concept for the programme and was picked out from the crowd.
James said: “I talked to the production company about what we do as they were a bit green about what farming is about.
“I’m not the world’s best teacher. If I can do it, I think everyone else can as well. Trying to explain to a Londoner how we do it, why we do it and what we do could be frustrating sometimes.”
As a ninth generation farmer on his family farm in Blackford, James works with his dad, uncle and younger brother on their 600 acres, looking after 200 milking cows and rearing heifers.
As a proud member of Wedmore YFC since he was 14, James invited the film crew down to the County Rally. Unfortunately it didn’t make it into the final edit but James hopes he has represented the Federation well.
James said: “I hold the torch high for Young Farmers. Normal education didn’t work very well for me but Young Farmers has helped me to get my NVQ in calf rearing and the equivalent of an A level, and also given me public speaking skills. I know people who have become more confident people through being in Young Farmers.”
And while James has had to campaign recently over milk price cuts he is quick to recognise he is in a stronger position than new entrants to the industry.
He said: “I think there is a future in farming – but it’s a very difficult future if you’re not from a farming background. I am fortunate as we have a strong base of a business that we’re able to work off but even we can’t withstand having huge pay cuts.”
First Time Farmers has coincided with the Government’s Future of Farming Review – a drive to get more young people working in the agricultural industry.