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Ahead of the Field podcasts

We have launched a series of podcasts to provide farmers with in-depth insight on farm business topics.

Our podcast  ‘Ahead of the field’, is narrated by Will Evans, voice of the popular ‘Rock and Roll Farming’ podcast series.

It features farmers across the UK talking about topics such as diversification, using drones on the farm and farm finances to name but a few.

You can listen to the podcasts via the links below or find them on your smartphone by searching for ‘NFU Mutual’ in your podcast app.

Rural Crime Podcast


Alongside our Rural Crime Report 2020, we've added a Rural Crime episode to our Ahead of the field podcast series. Host Will Evans is joined by Rebecca Davidson, NFU Mutual’s Rural Affairs Specialist, to talk through the results of the report and Detective Constable Chris Piggott from the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service to talk about the latest trends. Rebecca and Chris talk about crime under Coronavirus, what is being done to tackle the problem, and offer tips and advice to prevent rural crime.

Rural Crime transcript

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust and the work of its partners, including tackling mental health issues in farming

Will talks to Ruth Poulten from NFU Mutual, Jan Welch from RSABI, Mark Thomas from the Farming Community Network and Jason Alexandra from the Samaritans. They discuss how the farming community has been affected over the last few months and what is being done by charities to help

Bonus episode – Harvest Safety

As the farming community gears up for harvest this year, Will speaks to one of NFU Mutual’s experts on rural affairs, David Harrison, on how to keep yourself, your employees and friends and family safe

A new health and safety Coronavirus-related service for Farmers

Will records an interview with Evita Van Gestel from NFU Mutual Risk Management Services, to understand what the health and safety challenges are for farmers as a result of Coronavirus and find out about NFU Mutual’s new, free health and safety service.

Health and safety Coronavirus transcript

An update on Coronavirus support for Farmers

Will records an interview with Jim McLaren, farmer and NFU Mutual President, to get his perspective on the Coronavirus situation, and find out more about how NFU Mutual are supporting the farming community.

Coronavirus support for farmers transcript

Bonus Episode – Livestock Worrying

Livestock worrying by dog has seen a significant increase in the last five years, Will speaks with one of our experts on rural affairs, David Harrison to find out more.

Livestock worrying transcript

Diversifying as a weddings venue at Quantock Lakes

Find out how a farming family turned their fortunes around by diversifying into the wedding industry. Will talks to sister and brother Naomi and Andrew about the difficult decisions they needed to take and then how they’ve been able to grow there business.

Quantock Lakes transcript

Wine making at Court Garden

Will heads to East Sussex to learn how a historic sheep farm survived foot and mouth by diversifying into growing vines and making award-winning wine. He goes through the whole viticulture process and also finds out how the new business co-exists in harmony with sheep herd, as well as harnessing the power of the local community.

Wine making transcript

Agri-Tech Podcast

Will is at Intelligent Growth Solutions in Scotland to understand how vertical farming works and how it can create a perfectly controlled environment for growing. He also visits CowAlert to see the latest in livestock tagging technology, and talks more widely to the experts about how agri-tech is shaping the future of farming.

Agri-tech transcript

Agri Contracting at Lyndon Farms

We're at Lyndon Farms in Leicestershire to hear how Simon Smith and his family have successfully diversified into agri contracting. How did they do it, and what advice do they have for other farmers thinking about making the same move?

Brewing & Distilling at Ramsbury Estate

We visit the Ramsbury Estate in North Wiltshire to hear how they've diversified their farming business with a successful brewery, distillery, charcuterie and oil press. Will meets Alistair Ewing, who's managed the process, hears his stories and gets advice for other farmers looking to diversify into the food and drink business.

Bonus Episode – Insurance

Insurance is an important factor to consider when diversifying your farming business. Whilst visiting the Ramsbury Estate, Will Evans recorded this short bonus episode with Chris Walsh - one of NFU Mutual's experts on Rural Affairs

Organic Farm Shop & Take-Away at Rhug Estate

The Rhug Estate in North Wales has diversified from traditional farming to create a successful organic farm shop and take-away, including a thriving export business and the UK's first farm drive-through. Will meets the owner, Lord Newborough, and his staff to hear how they did it and what other farmers could learn from their experience

Bonus Episode – Pensions

How could your pension help your plans to diversify your farming business? Will talks to Sean McCann, a Chartered Financial Planner with NFU Mutual, to get some advice.

Holiday Rentals & Speedboat Tours at Portnellan Organic Farm 

On the banks of Loch Lomond, Portnellan Organic Farm has diversified to welcome holiday makers and tourists with 4-star cottages, glamping and speedboat tours. Will meets Chris Scott-Park and his father David, to hear how they've breathed new life into their business.

Drones

Drones are fun to play with, but can they have a significant impact on our everyday work on the farm? And how do you make sure you’re not breaking any laws or regulations? Will visits Hampton House Farm in Warwickshire and talks t Toby, drones experts, the Civil Aviation Authority and even the police, to bring you all the details.

Creating an online shop at "The Present Tree"

Catherine Cunningham set herself the challenge of creating an online business from the family farm in County Antrim with a small initial investment. 5 years later, The Present Tree sells thousands of tree gifts every year, and are planning further expansion.

Rural Crime 2019

Host Will Evans is in the Scottish Borders to talk through the results of the report and what’s changed in the last year. He’s joined by a number of different people on the front line of tackling rural crime, offering practical help and advice to combat the problem. 

Bonus Episode – Arson Prevention

Advice on what farmers can try and do to prevent arson attacks on hay and stray stacks - Will Evans recorded this short bonus episode with Tim Price - one of NFU Mutual's experts on rural affairs.

Treehouse accommodation on a small farm in Worcestershire

Nicky and John Bevan have developed two luxury treehouses for paying guests. Will hears the story of how they had the idea and the hard work that went into them, and restoring the old parsonage and tithe barn, as well as the challenges of running a small farm and building up the Hereford herd.

Bonus Episode – Extreme Weather

With winter approaching, advice on what farmers can do to prepare for extreme weather and limit the damage – Will records this bonus episode with David Harrison – one of NFU Mutual’s experts on rural affairs.