Farmers and agricultural workers have extra time to make their bid for glory in our Britain’s Fittest Farmer 2020 competition, with a £1,000 cash prize for one male and one female champion.
This weekend (29 March) should have seen about 50 farmers from across the UK come together to compete in the first of three high-octane qualifier events to champion physical fitness and mental wellbeing in agriculture.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the Farmers Weekly team to postpone this next round of the competition until later in the year, which will see contestants put through their paces in a series of physical challenges.
What is Britain’s Fittest Farmer?
This competition is designed to get all farmers thinking and talking about their health, physical and mental, to make sure they are in top condition to run their farm businesses.
It aims to support farmers’ amazing work to put food on our plates and care for our countryside, by helping them to ensure they are fit to farm.
We’re looking for farmers who make fantastic ambassadors for health and fitness in agriculture, to help break the taboo of talking about mental health issues such as depression, eating disorders and rural isolation.
The disruption means there is now more time for would-be contestants to get their applications in. Here’s how it works.
Round 1: Apply online
Fill in your details, answer three questions about your ties with farming, what you do to keep in good shape and look after your mental wellbeing and upload a photo or video of yourself.
You don’t necessarily need to be a farmer to apply, but you do need to be working within the agriculture sector. Check out the fantastic applications so far for some inspiration.
The competition remains open for entries until further notice and depends heavily on how the coronavirus crisis develops in the coming weeks and months.
We’ll keep you updated, inspired and motivated with regular emails while we all wait this thing out.
Round 2: The qualifiers
All applicants will be invited to compete in one of three regional qualifiers, to be held in Wiltshire, Leicestershire and the Scottish Borders.
Original dates for these events have been cancelled and new timings will be announced in the coming months, depending on how the coronavirus pandemic develops.
The contestants’ all-round fitness will be put to the test in a variety of physical challenges.
This is set to be an exciting series of events, with family and friends welcome to support contestants.
- Qualifier 1: Marlborough, Wiltshire
- Qualifier 2: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
- Qualifier 3: Jedburgh, Scottish Borders
The judges will then select 10 men and 10 women to proceed to the final stages of the competition.
Round 3: The interviews
The competition’s charity partner, The Farming Community Network (FCN), is getting involved to help with judging the finalists’ mental health awareness.
The charity’s chief executive Jude McCann will interview finalists alongside fellow judge and Farmers Weekly community editor Oli Hill.
Each finalist will be quizzed by the judges on things such as how they deal with stress effectively and make an effort to promote a healthy mindset in themselves and others.
Round 4: The final
Our finalists will face one last challenge: the ultimate physical assault course designed to test their speed, power and endurance.
Held at judge Tom Kemp’s Farm Fitness gym in Essex on date to be announced, finalists will battle through a series of blistering events.
Points from each round will be combined with scores from the interview round to see one man and one woman emerge as Britain’s Fittest Farmers 2020.
Britain’s Fittest Farmer: Our sponsor and partners
Tough, rugged, agile – the new INEOS Grenadier 4X4 will share plenty of traits exhibited by the winner of Britain’s Fittest Farmer. That’s why we’re so pleased to be sponsoring this rural British physical challenge.
As an uncompromising, no frills, off-road vehicle, the Grenadier will provide all the capability, durability and reliability you need to tackle the toughest tasks on the farm. That’s why we see ourselves as the ideal partner for this true test of grit, endurance and strength.
For more information on Grenadier, pay a visit to their website.
Farm Fitness: Partner
Farm Fitness has rapidly become a burning beacon on the UK fitness scene, attracting spectators and participants from all over the country to come and take a swing at its almost alchemic blend of modified strongman, functional bodybuilding, calisthenics and blistering cardio efforts.
The gym, founded by farmer’s son Tom Kemp, was voted one of the best gyms in the world and ‘coolest outdoor space’ by Men’s Health (PDF)
Tom has blended his farming background with his love of training to create a raw and exciting outdoor environment for people of all strengths and abilities to get fit.
The Farming Community Network: Partner
The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.
The charity has helped thousands of people deal with a variety of issues, including financial difficulties, animal disease, mental health and family disputes.
Volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, regardless of whether the issue is personal or business-related. FCN also runs a confidential national helpline and e-helpline.