Will Evans, the award winning star of Rock & Roll Farming Podcast, has urged farmers to sell the farming story and make social media a positive tool for the industry.
The podcasting farmer’s comments were made during his address at a recent Monmouthshire NFU Cymru County Conference held at the Three Salmons, Usk.
Will Evans, who launched his podcast two years ago, has had over 150,000 downloads from all around the world and uses this platform to give an insight into the real, ‘rock & roll’ people behind farming. “The tasks we may consider mundane, others are fascinated by and they want to know more. That’s why it is so important that we sell our farming story and connect with our consumers. We now have an opportunity that we’ve never had before, to build that relationship with our customers through technology, we can take pictures, write blogs and create videos. If consumers ask questions about farming, answer them, the more that people learn about where their food comes from, the better.
“Every day there seems to be negative media surrounding our produce and activist activity. The UK farming industry has an amazing story to tell and social media is not going anywhere so we’ve got to make it a positive tool for us. We all have a phone, so we have the ability to build a personal connection with our consumers. Farming is about the environment - the landscape has been shaped by farmers - but farming is also about people and this is what I try to show off.”
Speaking about how he got into podcasting, Will Evans said: “Podcasting is at its gold rush stage and it’s an easy, fun and effective tool for us to use and to get the subject you’re passionate about out there. I’ve always been interested in writing so I started with a few blogs and after some positive feedback I looked to launch the podcast. Although I know my way around a computer I didn’t know anything about making creative projects. However, I didn’t want to be that person who had an idea who didn’t follow it through, so I spent hours researching and watching online tutorials and later downloaded software and bought the necessary equipment.
“I’ve learnt through my podcasts that is takes a special person to be a farmer. I’ve interviewed some amazing people; a number of whom are struggling with various issues and my aim is to showcase these incredible people. I think it’s great that more people are talking about mental health in particular.
“Remember, farming is super-hot right now, it’s never been more so, you might even say it’s rock & roll. Now is the time to capitalise on that. We are not just farmers.”
NFU Cymru Deputy President, Aled Jones, also addressed the conference and gave an update on the latest work NFU Cymru is involved in.
Monmouthshire NFU Cymru County Chair, Kate Beavan said: “I’d like to thank Will Evans for addressing our annual conference. His speech inspired us all to tell our farming story through social media and connect with our consumers – something we must all do more of. I would encourage you all to listen to Will’s Rock & Roll Farming Podcast, which showcases some of our best farmers from across the world.”
NFU Cymru would like to thank HSBC Bank for sponsoring the series of 11 county conferences across Wales.