Just Farmers is a Community Interest Company that enables farmers to use their voice, for positive change in UK farming
We offer fully-funded Media Education workshops to individual farmers and growers with the aim of building confidence and communication skills at the grassroots of British agriculture.
And we build connections between farmers and the media; helping journalists and programme makers find independent farmer case studies and industry commentators to talk to.
The long-term impact we want to see at Just Farmers is a more open and constructive relationship between farmers and the general public, via print, broadcast, online and social media, based on the contacts and professional relationships that we help to build.
Just Farmers is a unique and pioneering communications project that works. There is nothing else like it. We are non-political and we do not lobby or speak on behalf of the wider industry.
Why is there a need for us?
Farming is one of the most misunderstood jobs in modern society. To some, it seems an idyllic way of life. To others, it looks cruel and destructive.
The problem is that the public perception of an entire industry is often worlds away from the everyday reality on individual farms. This is because:
- Many farmers see journalists as a threat, believing there is an anti-farming agenda working against them.
- It’s not always easy for journalists to find good talkers without a wider agenda, and negotiating access on to farms can be tricky.
We believe that by bridging the divide between the agricultural industry and urban media, we can give the consumer a greater understanding of where their food comes from, as well as the challenges that we all face around food security.
Our impact so far...
So far, we have 84 farmers in our network, who represent a diverse mix across UK agriculture. Between them, they have had more than 500 regional, national and international media appearances and some are now major influencers on social media.
Through our work we are bridging the disconnect between the most overlooked cultural division in modern society; the divide between town and country.
- Our team -
Anna Jones, Founder
Just Farmers was set up in 2018 by freelance journalist and broadcaster Anna Jones. A farmer’s daughter from the Welsh Borders, Anna works as a Producer/Director and occasional presenter on rural affairs television and radio programmes including BBC One's Countryfile, Radio 4's Farming Today, On Your Farm, Costing the Earth and The Archers. She is currently working as a Producer on the upcoming Channel 4 series Matt Baker's Farm of a Lifetime. Anna has reported on agricultural issues for BBC News and the World Service and has written for The Guardian, Countryfile Magazine, Farmers Guardian and Farmers Weekly. Her first book 'Divide: The relationship crisis between town and country' was published by Kyle Books in 2022.
The idea for Just Farmers was sparked by Anna's research for a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2016/17, which looked at the coverage of agriculture in news and current affairs around the world. She discovered a deep disconnect between farming communities and the mainstream, predominantly urban media - driven mostly by a lack of trust and transparency. Anna wants to give farmers the skills and confidence to step forward and share their stories, while helping colleagues in the media build more contacts in rural areas.
Emily Davies, Managing Editor
As a farmer's daughter, Emily's first experience with the media came at the age of three, when she and her family were filmed by ITV for an educational programme about farming. Emily's career in broadcast media began in television drama as a runner on BBC's Life on Mars and Script Coordinator for BBC's Holby City before moving into journalism as News Editor for ITV Central Tonight, and Digital Editor for ITV News, Good Morning Britain, Lorraine and This Morning.
Enjoying the fast pace and creativity of digital media, Emily stepped away from journalism and into marketing, managing the social media channels for ITV, ITV2, ITV4 and ITVBe and has since worked with a variety of brands including BT TV, Guide Dogs, adidas, Aviva, Barratt Homes and Maersk as a digital marketing specialist.
Returning to her farming roots, Emily began working for Just Farmers in October 2021 as Project Editor, and in July 2023 became Just Farmers' first ever Managing Editor.
Clare Hargreaves, Project Editor (freelance)
Clare may not have been born on a farm, but she's never happier than when wearing her wellies. Her career as a journalist and linguist has taken her all over the world, including stints as a correspondent for Reuters in Paris, writing a book on the cocaine trade in South America, making a documentary about General Franco for BBC1, and researching Jonathan Dimbleby's biography of the Prince of Wales.
Over the past two decades she has focused on British food and farming while writing for BBC Countryfile magazine, The Telegraph, the i, BBC Good Food, Olive, and National Trust magazine.
She's covered a range of subjects from lambing to watercress farming, and this year has examined the issue of food security by setting herself the challenge of eating just British food. During lockdown she studied horticulture while living on a farm in Devon, where she now lives full-time.
Alex Price, Workshop Trainer (freelance)
Alex is a freelance self-shooting Producer/Director with 17 years’ experience in the TV industry. He has worked for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 on programmes including The One Show, Countryfile, Gym Stars, Animal Park, Eat Well For Less, Gardeners’ World, Paddington 24/7, DIY SOS, Bargain Hunt, Flog It!, Big Brother, Antiques Roadshow Detectives and Comic Relief.
Alex has been involved with Just Farmers right from the start, using his camera skills to teach our farmers how to make videos on their smartphones and edit their own content for social media. With the right encouragement and a few insider tricks of the trade, Alex believes everyone can make a film on their phone - telling their own story, with their own words and pictures.