Britain’s Fittest Farmer returns for 2020 – now open for entries

It’s back, and it’s bigger and better than ever. Britain’s Fittest Farmer has returned for 2020 to champion physical fitness and mental wellbeing in agriculture.

The hunt is now on to find one man and one woman who will be crowned Britain’s Fittest Farmers, with a £1,000 cash prize up for grabs for each winner.

Britain’s Fittest Farmer is a competition designed to encourage a vital discussion about the physical and mental health of our farmers in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

See also: Meet the 2019 Britain’s Fittest Farmers – Sean Cursiter and Fiona Penfold

As farming becomes less active and more mechanised and office-based, it’s more important than ever before to make sure Britain’s farmers are getting the exercise they need to stay fit and healthy. 

Farming can also be a stressful and occasionally isolated job, which is why this competition be focussed on the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

Watch the video and read more detail below.

 

For full competition details and to apply, visit the Britain’s Fittest Farmer website. Read the full terms and conditions for this competition.

True grit

“This competition is all about getting our hard-working farmers to think more proactively about their health, both mental and physical,” says Farmers Weekly‘s community editor Oli Hill.

“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.”

Britain's Fittest Farmer 2019 winners Sean Cursiter and Fiona Penfold © Colin Miller/RBI

Britain’s Fittest Farmer 2019 winners Sean Cursiter and Fiona Penfold © Colin Miller/RBI

After a hugely popular debut for the competition in 2019, Farmers Weekly has again joined forces with Farm Fitness – a unique outdoor gym with an agricultural twist set up by Essex farmer’s son Tom Kemp.

See also: Visit our health and wellbeing page for useful advice and tips

Guest judge Tom and the Farmers Weekly team have been working hard to build on the strong foundations of the competition to make this year’s the ultimate test of strength, agility, speed and stamina.

Tom Kemp, Farm Fitness

Tom Kemp, Farm Fitness founder

“We’re looking forward to going even bigger in 2020, with a true test of mental toughness, strength, power and endurance, whittling away the contenders until the last man and woman are left standing,” says Tom.

“Farm Fitness is honoured to be partnering with Farmers Weekly to once again help in the hunt for Britain’s Fittest Farmer. It’s our ongoing mission to honour our agricultural roots, so this is a great privilege for us.”

How the competition works

Round 1: Apply online

To apply, go to the dedicated Britain’s Fittest Farmer website. Simply 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. The competition closes for entries at 11.59pm on 17 April 2020.

View the contestants for Britain’s Fittest Farmer.

Fiona Penfold tackles the farmer's walk with the 2019 Britain's Fittest Farmer Final

Fiona Penfold tackles the farmer’s walk © Colin Miller/RBI

Round 2: Regional qualifiers

All applicants will be invited to compete in one of three regional qualifiers, to be held in Wiltshire, Leicestershire and the Scottish Borders in March and April.

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: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire – 29 March 2020
  • Qualifier 2: Marlborough, Wiltshire – 4 April 2020
  • Qualifier 3:Jedburgh, Scottish Borders – 18 April 2020

The judges will then select 10 men and 10 women to proceed to the final stages of the competition.

Michael Osborne leaps over a straw bale at the 2019 Britain's Fittest Farmer final

2019 finalist Michael Osborne leaps over a straw bale © Colin Miller/RBI

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.

Each finalist will be interviewed by the judges on how they deal with stress, make an effort to socialise and promote a healthy mindset in themselves and others.

Vicky Willis rolls her silage bale towards the finish line © Colin Miller/RBI

Vicky Willis rolls her silage bale towards the finish line © Colin Miller/RBI

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 Tom Kemp’s Farm Fitness gym in Essex on 9 May 2020, 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.

James Duerden powers on with tyre in tow at the 2019 Britain's fittest farmer final

James Duerden powers on with tyre in tow © Colin Miller/RBI

Britain’s Fittest Farmer: Our sponsor and partners

Grenadier: Our sponsor

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.