Hair extensions & hog roasts | South East Farmer

Hair extensions & hog roasts

Vacancies Posted 14/08/14
It was the television programme that last week, took Twitter by storm. No it wasn’t the Common Wealth Games, The Great British Bake Off or some programme where Z-listers in Lycra wobble around on ice to music. It was First Time Farmers.

The Channel 4 programme, now in its second series, was broadcast last Thursday at 10pm. The television series follows farmers aged between 20-30 on their farming journey in which the producers describe as ‘breathing life into the agricultural world balancing hard work with finding time for love, laughter and partying.’

Well we may not have seen too much love or laughter yet but there has certainly been partying.

Cow mad Kate, 23, from Herefordshire confirmed the stereotype that young farmers love to party with her, sometimes annoying, drunken ramblings. However, I think it would be hard to argue that her chat-up-lines were anything but top class.

This included the question every girl needs to know about her potential boyfriend ‘Are you good at calf rearing or what?’

And the revelation to her friends that ‘If I could be any breed of cow, I’d definitely be a jersey.’

But despite her drunken antics Kate’s dedication to the dairy industry shined through with her happily milking on minimal sleep and allowing her love life to be lost to a herd of Holstein Friesians.

Glamourous Kate who has hair extensions, fake tan and pretty pink Hunter wellies talked about difficult it can sometimes be convincing people that she is a dairy queen and not a hairdresser.

The two boys, James, 26, and Robbie, 23, who started his own hog roast business and appeared in the last series, received mixed reviews with a number of viewers arguing that they are not ‘first time farmers’ as their parents both own farms. This may be the case but it was clear that the boys had to really work hard in order to meet the approval of their parents’ who had been farming for years and prove that they were capable in running their own farming business.

As someone whose mother doesn’t share quite the same enthusiasm as I do for the industry, I wasn’t surprised to hear Kate’s mother exclaim ‘I’m quite concerned about Kate’s obsession with cows’.

There was also the debate that Channel 4’s take on farm-life was too similar to that of Made in Chelsea and it was over-glamorising the whole affair. We have to remember that this programme probably wasn’t made with farmer viewers in mind and Channel 4 are trying to make it appealing to a wide range of audiences. If it was for us do you really think they’d put it on half way through harvest and at a time when most farmers are tucking themselves up in bed?

I do agree that the last series was much more realistic and down to earth but if glamorous encourages new entrants, I’m okay with that. Glorifying the industry like that may not be necessarily realistic but new entrants might decide to try their hand at it and like many people do, absolutely fall in love. For the ones who watch the programme, try out farming and hate it, it’s a great way of filtering out those destined for office life.

In my opinion, it was great to highlight the number of ambitious, hard working young people passionate about the industry and having fun at the same time. The feedback from those watching who are not from a farming background was overall very positive with the show successfully promoting British farming.

I will certainly be watching the rest of the series to see how it pans out but remember if it gets too much for you, there is an off button.

Oh and one last thing, to the viewers who complained that the boys were ‘too posh’ to be farmers, I suggest that you don’t ever take a trip to Cirencester!


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