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A Year on the Farm - half the story?

31st Aug 2017 / By Alistair Driver

A year on the farm

A Year on the Farm did an excellent job of highlighting one farming family's trials and tribulations over 12 months - but it still managed to frustrate some pig farmers.

The More 4 programme shown last night featured Polly and Graeme, who left London to return to Polly's organic family farm in Wales, where 100 cows, 1000 sheep and 80 outdoor-reared Gloucester Old Spot pigs 'graze cliff-top fields and clover rich pastures'.

Featuring the highs and lows of making a go of farming in what can be a difficult environment, the couple received a lot of praise for their efforts and the way they presented their story. 

One viewer on Twitter commented: "Those who think farmers don't care about their animals need to watch #AYearOnTheFarm - truly heartfelt and honest."

Another wrote: "#AYearOnTheFarm is the best of British Farming. Makes me so proud of our farmers. They need us all to support them."

However, the programme repeatedly contrasted the extensive organic style of farming on view with 'intensive' or 'industrial' farming, even though Polly, herself, was keen to stress she had no intention of knocking other types of farming. 

Fabulous family

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: "It was lovely to see such a fabulous farming family with their Gloucester Old Spot herd. They did the farming industry proud. 

"But it was annoying to hear the constant digs by narrator about intensive farming. At NPA we celebrate the diversity of the British pig industry, which is one of its greatest strengths. From organic extensive farms supplying a certain market to larger, efficient, high welfare indoor units supplying quality pork for the highly competitive wider market, there is a place for them all. 

"One system is certianly not better than the other and it is frustrating when the situation is over-simplified in this way."

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