MIXED, HEREFORDSHIRE. Ben farms in partnership with his father on a 450-acre (182ha) tenanted and 150-acre (60ha) owned mixed organic farm. They have cattle which graze the river meadows from spring until autumn and they grow both cereal and vegetable crops and cut sunflowers on higher ground.
Improving biodiversity on the farm provides Ben with a great buzz. Both his involvement with stewardship schemes and organic practices have produced gains to the point that the skylarks are almost deafening in summer.
With a rich family history based in agriculture as far back as the 17th century, Ben briefly tried city life, but after 18 months returned to his roots on the farm.
Ben feels the biggest issue in the industry is the demonisation of livestock. “Despite the UN IPCC report clearly stating that sustainable animal agriculture can actually help mitigate climate change, very few journalists picked up on this point,” he says. Ben believes that a clear distinction needs to be made about which agricultural practices are sustainable and which aren’t, with everything backed up by figures. He feels that farming is both part of the problem and the solution to climate change, but unless livestock farming is viewed as both, nothing will change.
Member of the National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, Landworkers Alliance and the Soil Association. He works with Agrespect to tackle homophobia in the agriculture industry.
Previous media experience
He has featured in Farmers Weekly’s Britain’s Fittest Farmer competition and was interviewed by BBC Midlands Today (TV) and BBC Hereford and Worcester (radio) for it. He was also interviewed by Attitude Magazine about life as a gay farmer and for a Farmers Guardian feature. Ben has 45,000 Instagram followers and, in 2021, the press picked up on a story from a Norweigian marketing platform which named him "a top rural influencer".