Farmers Weekly’s online discussion and photo sharing area, FWiSpace, is celebrating its first birthday and as part of the celebrations we are offering £100 to the person who posts the best picture or photo in the next seven days.

FWiSpace candle again

FWiSpace is an area of the website designed to enable farmers, and others in the industry, to discuss issues with each other, make contacts and offer advice and support.

To mark the occasion, FW asked some of the members to share their thoughts. Here is what they said:

“As a regular visitor to FWispace, the opportunity to be part of discussions on different aspects of farming from around the world is addictive.  A visit to the site can be informative, stimulating, annoying, contentious or outright hilarious – but never boring!” Jacobus

“FWiSpace combines those two essentials of life, interesting people and interesting subjects for discussion. In addition, it has become one of the first places to visit when I need practical help with any problem around the holding. I have become cyber friends with people who, although never having met, have helped to form my views by sharing their knowledge and experience in entertaining ways. In short, FWiSpace has become almost as important to me, as my trusty daily newspaper.” Peter Wells

“I find the site invaluable for keeping up to speed with what matters in farming, it’s a darn sight more up to date than DEFRA!” crazysheep

“FWiSpace is open 24 hours a day and there when I need it. It is an interesting but friendly place where I can read, ask questions and take advice.” Hasty Exit

“The forum’s attractive format is quick and easy to use. It is a very enjoyable experience to take part in, whether debating or just chatting with all the other forum members,- home or abroad. From fun to serious debate, it is all there. I even enjoy the threads where some of our antagonists come in to vent their fury at us – “whinging, subsidy greedy farmers”. It is never long before they are put right on the matter and usually exit their thread wiser and more friendly to us than they came in. My wife and I were able to meet Mr and Mrs “Kansasfarmer”, when they came over to UK last July, and welcome them to our farm in Scotland. It was a most enjoyable and memorable couple of days and came as a direct result of our joining FWiSpace; surely the best bonus of all that forum membership can bring.” AllyR

“It has been very enjoyable posting photos of farming activities through the year and viewing other people’s pictures from other parts of the country.” Sue Morgan

“FWiSpace unites farmers and people in the countryside – it is a valuable resource and this is shown through its popularity. Not only does the site cater for the needs of farmers old and young, it also unites people who are from non-farming backgrounds.” Matty S

“FWiSpace isn’t about perfect farming – it is as much about the fields of rape you wrote off, the exams you have next week, the fields of wheat under a foot of water, the sheep your brother’s girlfriend hand-reared dying and the worries about how you can afford to go on in the job you love. It’s sharing your hopes and fears and getting support from others who have been there, or are going there, to make what you do every day that bit better next time and every time.” TeslaCoils

“FWiSpace connects people from all over the world. What still amazes me is the level of debate on whatever the subject as well as the humour and character one can read into folk when they have posted a few times.” Burocrat basher

“As I believe in listening to my peers, I find FWiSpace a place to give and receive advice, find out what is happening over the other side of hedges far away and I just love the banter. It also gives me chance to whinge in my very own blog!” Bonehead

“FWiSpace gives us a voice, sometimes to let off steam, sometimes to learn and have fun – but most of all to feel part of a real community that does the most important thing there is, grow food to feed a hungry world. It gives me a voice to say what I really think and sometimes changes what I think as it makes me confront issues by communicating with others.” He his-self

“FWiSpace proved invaluable and came into its own during the 2007 foot-and-mouth breakout. It showed how the internet could both inform and update instantly at a click, and provide a platform for discussion, nationally and internationally. Unlike 2001 farmers were no longer isolated, and the depth of the questions and debate no doubt sent messages to the powers-that-be that UK farmers were well-briefed and no pushover when it came to the raw facts.” Darling

“As a farmer’s wife I often find myself in a trap set by media and the jolly example of Ma Larkin and the movie Babe. On the other side the gap is wedged tighter by the women “who are married to farmers but have independent professional lives”. The urge to communicate to the world that I am a three dimensional human being is overwhelming. Thanks to the FWiSpace I have somewhere to let off steam.” Herself

“I joined FWiSpace to chat with like minded people on issues like “which college to attend” to “comparing crops.” It also allows me to share my thoughts on an industry that is evolving in a world that could soon be short of food and fuel.” Viewfromtheotherside

“I like using the FWiSpace website, as it is a good opportunity to share photos and ideas with other farmers. It is my favourite hobby when I am not working.” Nixey

Read more about the FWiSpace anniversary or take a look at FWiSpace for yourself.