Radio show highlights our farming communities

Rural communities across North Yorkshire are being showcased in a new radio programme which has been launched to highlight the work of the county’s farmers and food producers.

The new show, which is called Farming Outlook, is being supported by funding which is being distributed by us.

The programme has been developed by Grow Yorkshire, an initiative led by the York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority, with a £25,000 grant from the national Shared Prosperity Fund.

The 13-week pilot is produced by Great Yorkshire Radio on its Coast and County station and airs on Sundays from 6am to 9am before being repeated in the evening from 7pm to 10pm.

John Harding and Dougie Weake

So far, interview topics have included:

  • Raising awareness of rural mental health with Harrogate Samaritans.
  • Policing and the farming community with North Yorkshire Police.
  • Farming with nature, with the Green Farm Collective.

Upcoming broadcasts are set to explore pioneering biodiversity projects, natural flood resilience measures and how farmers can access support to diversify their income streams.

Our chief executive, Richard Flinton, said: “This radio programme is a fantastic example of how this funding is engaging with different communities across our county.

“North Yorkshire’s farmers and producers grow and create incredible food and products, and this programme celebrates that whilst looking to the future of farming in our county.

“I hope farmers will tune in to hear about new developments in the sector which may be able to improve the efficiency of their farm.”

The programme’s content has a broad theme of decarbonisation in farming and is being developed with partners at Future Farmers of Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, The Country Landowners Association, the Food and Environment Research Agency and Young Farmers.

A series of podcasts featuring content from the Sunday programme will be available after each broadcast.

Alongside her husband David, Farming Outlook guest Christine Thompson runs a sheep farm near Helmsley.

Christine also runs her own company delivering farm business skills courses and workshops to farms and other agricultural enterprises.

Sheep farmers loading sheep into a trailer

She said: “I'm so pleased that Farming Outlook has been developed, as it provides a great opportunity for the region's farmers to speak about issues that affect them and also raise awareness of what’s happening within the agricultural industry.

“As well as being a tenant farmer myself, I've worked with many farmers in the past through my admin and training businesses and know how important it is for all farming businesses, be they small or large, to stay up to date with the latest research, innovation and support.

“Projects like Farming Outlook are an important part of helping our food and farming sectors build a bright future.”

Also featured on the show is Rebecca Thompson, the head of farming and land management at the North York Moors National Park Authority.

She said: “The North York Moors is home to hundreds of farmers who represent all sectors of the agricultural industry. Many of our most special landscapes and distinctive features are dependent on their practices, and colleagues from across the National Park Authority work alongside our landowners and managers every day.

“Agriculture is in an important but challenging period of transition, but we’re excited about how Farming Outlook can further connect this community and help build new partnerships that boost farm businesses but also help to deliver benefits for climate, nature, people and place.”

A farmer with his pigs

Farming Outlook’s producer at Coast and County Radio, John Harding, said: “Coast and County Radio is proud to serve the communities of Whitby, Scarborough, Filey and Ryedale and we’re looking forward to hearing the real-life stories and experiences of those who work, live and play in rural communities in North Yorkshire.

“We’ll be meeting the personalities and characters who are part of rural community life in the county and showcasing the cost-effective opportunities available to rural businesses.”

The programme is broadcasted on 97.4FM in Whitby, Ryedale, Scarborough and Filey or online.

The first programmes are available to listen again.  All future programmes will be available in the same place after broadcast.