Live the farming life? Got opinions about rural issues? Well, here’s your chance to become Farmlife’s newest columnist

We’re looking for someone whose other half is a farmer to write a monthly column about the highs and lows of what is both a wonderful and occasionally infuriating occupation.

It doesn’t matter what you do (you may or may not, for example, be involved in a diversification or have an off-the-farm job), but what we’re looking for is someone who can write a candid account of the highs and lows of life married to, or as the partner of, a farmer.

It’s really a monthly diary giving your take on life in the countryside – what’s keeping you busy, what’s making you laugh, what’s making you pull your hair out, what your other half is up to, what the kids have been doing (if applicable), even your thoughts on general farming and countryside issues.

To stand a chance of becoming our new columnist, we want you to enter a competition by writing a piece called Breakfast in our Farmhouse, details of which are outlined in the box.

We’ll publish a selection of the entries and ask the person who sends the one we like the most to be our new columnist.

You don’t have to have had work published in the past – but we are looking for someone who can write informatively and entertainingly, who can meet deadlines and who can write about subjects and issues with which Farmers Weekly readers will empathise.

The new columnist will get the chance to write a 500-word piece every month – and will be paid £60 a pop.

This is your chance to join Farmlife’s stable of great columnists, such as Tracey Hull in France and our students Lizzie Jennings and Rob Cotton. It’s also your chance to follow the footsteps of such favourites as Judith Morrow, Chrissie Green and Suzie Paton.

HOW TO ENTER

Write an article of no more than 500 words entitled Breakfast in our Farmhouse.

How you interpret this is up to you. You might want to try to make us laugh, make us cry, make us think, make us agree, make us disagree (maybe make us do more than one of these things) – but the article should give us a sense of what life’s like for you and your family, rather than being just a list of ingredients.

Also, send us a few words (these can be in addition to the 500) telling us a bit about yourself – about where you live, about your family, what you farm and anything else you think may make you more suitable to be a contributor to FW.

Good luck – we look forward to reading your submissions.

Email your entry to Tim Relf.

The closing dates for entries is Wednesday, 4 February, 2009.

Choice quotes from Farmlife columnists, past and present:

chrissie greenChrissie Green
“What a good job my other half has broad shoulders. The weather’s picking up – there’s the ploughing, spraying and maize to drill and everyone abandons him. I, too, abandoned Tim to visit the new man in my life: grandson baby Eliott.”

“It was nice to get away for a while, if only for a brief visit to the SIMA show in Paris. It takes much more time than we had available to get around the show – especially when we bump into FW readers, who are always ready for a chat. I was just sorry we went on the wrong day to bump into Brian Aldridge and Siobhan from The Archers.”

tracey hullTracey Hull
“My experiences have made me conclude again and again that the famous French shrug totally sums up their view of life, the universe and everything.”

“A happy family, happy livestock and the fun of having a new lurcher puppy underfoot is all that really matters.”

suzie patonSuzie Paton
“Our dogs Monty and Mojo were less than impressed when I told them of the EU directive, which was going to mean we’d have to remove their beds from the kitchen. From now on they wouldn’t be able to take their afternoon snooze in front of the Aga. You may have read in the national media recently about this latest piece of EU legislation to affect B&Bs.”

“Cake-making finished, it was all hands on deck for table setting and decorating the marquee to push for the final effect. Then a young Angus heifer decided to give us our first caesarean birth for five years. Fortunately, our experienced vet, Dilwyn from the local practice, completed the job in double-quick time.”

judith morrowJudith Morrow
“I am sitting in my little shop now with my laptop, waiting in vain for any visitors to our Open Farm on this wet afternoon. It is rather smaller in scale than the department stores of my youth, only about 150sq ft and not quite as sophisticated as my dream. But I really enjoy it. I have just spent a good 10 minutes lining up my plastic cows along the counter and arranging the £1.50 display of fluffy yellow chicks in an attractive wicker basket. I find myself seriously advising kids on how to get the best value from their £1 coin and discussing my conscience battles with parents as to the ethics of plastic sheep whose rear-ends squeeze out brown goo (very popular with six-year-old boys).”