Essex Young Farmers are embarking on the musical challenge of a lifetime – to get into the top 40 singles chart.
Members are planning to release a song, titled Put That Hoe Down, ahead of the NFYFC annual convention between 9 and 12 May, when thousands will descend on the bright lights of Blackpool for the weekend.
Makers of the song are hoping that their track could become the convention anthem and will mark the ultimate finale to the event if it hits the top spot in the charts.
The mind behind this musical project, known as “Farming for No 1”, is Sam Iddison (above left), chairman of Essex Young Farmers. He has selected the challenge as part of the WotNot fundraising scheme – which sees county chairmen select an unusual way for their county to travel to the AGM, in an effort to raise as much money as possible for charity.
Previous WotNot endeavours have included sponsored walks, runs, bike rides and even canoeing. “Releasing a record and touring is pretty much the only thing left that Young Farmers haven’t tried,” laughs Sam.
Essex YFC will tour their way to the Lancashire coast, performing the song at Young Farmers events along the way.
“I thought, the AGM involves three days of Young Farmers enjoying music from Radio 1 DJs so let’s try and make a song and get it into the chart on the Sunday of the AGM,” explains Sam (pictured with Andrew Sell and Jess Roche).
Auditions for lead vocals are currently under way and about 30 members will ultimately sing the chorus. “It’s going to be a very fun, upbeat song, which just celebrates Young Farmers really – how they work hard and play hard.”
As for the video? “It will capture us doing fun young farming things all over the county. It should give a good overview of what we do.”
The chorus for the track will be recorded at the world-renowned Abbey Road Studios in London. Previous artists who have recorded there include The Beatles and Pink Floyd, so they’re following in famous footsteps!
The chart-topping challenge is all in aid of raising money for the charities Young Minds and The Farming Community Network (FCN), both working to raise awareness of mental health issues and support those who suffer from, or are affected by, them.
“Music in particular is a proven mental boost. It can help create a positive mindset so it feels like quite an apt thing to be doing for those charities,” Sam tells Farmers Weekly.
Both charities have expressed their support for the project. “We wish them well in helping the FCN to support those farmers who are in difficulty. It is particularly encouraging to see Young Farmers recognising the problems and going out of their way to help,” says FCN spokesperson Peter Riley. “We are not able to offer any professional or technical help on making records though,” he jokes.
Keep an eye (and ear) out for the single, which should be available to pre-order on iTunes and Amazon from mid-April, with the release set for 5 May.