Jimmy Doherty© John Alex Maguire/REX/Shutterstock

Celebrity farmer Jimmy Doherty has joined forces with NFU Mutual to promote a support package for small farmers.

Mr Doherty is the rural insurer’s new small farm ambassador and his role will involve supporting small farms, which form the backbone of British agriculture.

In a bid to help small farmers, he will be sharing his experiences of turning a run-down piece of Suffolk land into a successful rare breeds farm and visitor attraction.

See also: Prince’s charity to help 1,500 vulnerable small farms

“We need small farms to look after the land, keep rare breeds going and to hold the fabric of the countryside together,” said Mr Doherty.

I hope to be able to use this role to spread the message and support farmers, from new entrants to families who have been working the land for generations Jimmy Doherty

“Small farmers have a great story to tell – but are so busy working they don’t get the chance to talk about their great work.

“I hope to be able to use this role to spread the message and support farmers, from new entrants to families who have been working the land for generations.”

Jimmy’s Farm

Mr Doherty started his journey in farming 10 years ago when he took on the leasehold of a 40ha farm just outside Ipswich, which was followed in a BBC series called Jimmy’s Farm.

Now he has an award-winning restaurant, a nature trail, a butterfly house and holds a number of science and food festivals throughout the year.

“Farming today isn’t just about riding on a tractor; you have to be the vet, the engineer, or even the shopkeeper with a farm shop,” added Mr Doherty.

“To protect a dynamic farm business you need an insurer with farming expertise and local people to grow the business – and that’s why I’m with NFU Mutual.”

NFU Mutual insures three-quarters of the nation’s farms from smallholdings to the largest estates.

Farmers can follow Mr Doherty’s work with NFU Mutual to support small farmers on Twitter @nfum and by visiting the NFU Mutual’s website from October 24.