Farming and DJ-ing may seem worlds apart, but Radio 1 stars and just-appointed Young Farmers ambassadors Scott Mills and Chris Stark say there are some similarities.
Famous for fronting Radio 1’s long-running Scott Mills show, the pair were announced as ambassadors for the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) in September.
The duo are already well known on the Young Farmers scene having regularly performed sets for the organisation’s annual conventions, but now they are looking to do more to promote the NFYFC’s work.
Scott, 41, and Chris, 28, say their radio show’s popularity with young farmers made joining up with the NFYFC a natural fit.
Asked if there are any similarities between a life in the studio and a life in the field, Scott jokes: “Late nights, early mornings and knowing how to have a good time.”
“A big part of our listenership is made up of young farmers, we are on air 1-4pm, so we regularly hear from them as callers into the show so we already have a bond with them,” adds Scott – who is busy preparing to conquer his fear of heights with a 400ft abseil down Blackpool Tower in aid of the BBC’s charity drive for Children In Need.
“We also DJ at a lot of young farmers’ gigs so we have met them, talked to them about what they do for a living and we have a deep respect for their hard work,” explains Chris.
“A big part of our listenership is made up of young farmers, we are on air 1-4pm, so we regularly hear from them as callers into the show so we already have a bond with them”
The broadcasters say they are also keen to tackle the problem of rural isolation, which can go hand-in-hand with a life dedicated to farming.
“[Young farmers] are a lot of fun.
“We wanted to be able to use the platform that we have to not only highlight the great stuff young farmers do but also to get them talking to one another and creating a social hub,” Scott explains.
“We have heard that a lot of farming life can be isolated and depression is more common than we thought it would be among the farming community, so what is really important for us is to have place where people can talk and share their experiences,” Chris adds.
“I think the main thing is, as Scott says, create a fun environment to get farmers talking about what matters to them and support them in a way but also taking guidance from farmers on how we can help.”
Scott and Chris’ Young Farmer playlist
- Waiting for Love (Scott and Chris farming remix) – Avicii
- Combine Harvester – The Wurzels
- Mr Brightside – The Killers
- Timber – Pitbull featuring Ke$ha
- Traktor – Wretch 32 featuring L Marshall
Scott, who fronted BBC documentary The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay – a documentary exploring homophobia in Uganda – said he is keen to support young farmers who may feel isolated on account of their sexuality.
He says: “It’s really early days as my role as an ambassador and I am keen to hear more about this issue and see where I can help.
“So yes, I hate to think that people feel isolated anywhere in the world because of their sexuality.”
To this end the pair have already set-up a popular Facebook page – Yofo or you only farm once, a play on the popular moto you only live once (Yolo) which abounds on social networking sites such as Twitter.
The page is chock-full of farming selfies – or felfies, farming heroes, jokes and news about young farmers’ charity efforts.
“We aren’t farming experts so we are learning too about the farming industry.
Scott and Chris quick fire questions
Favourite farm animal?
Cows are good
Favourite farming task?
Does welly wangling count?
Favourite part of young farmers?
Hanging out with them at the gigs
Arable or Livestock?
“But on our Facebook page, Yofo, we get lots of messages asking us to support someone’s charity tractor drive for example, and what we can do is use our following and platform to help spread the word,” Scott says.
“What we have noticed from the selfies we have been sent is that everyone looks happy and seems to be having fun.
“It’s really refreshing and nice to see young people, out in the open, having a good time.”
Aside from the all the fun, both ambassadors are concerned by the squeeze on farmgate prices and hope they can help keep the public backing British producers.
“We need to pay a fair price for the food and drink delivered to our tables,” says Scott. “We can’t see our farmers give up their livelihood because they can’t afford to live.”
Find the Scott and Chris’ Yofo page at www.facebook.com/YouOnlyFarmOnce