Farmers could tap into fitness markets in new seminar series

An Oxfordshire regenerative farmer has teamed up with a high-performance fitness and nutrition coach to combine the worlds of CrossFit and agriculture in a series of seminars over the coming months.

Headed by Silas Hedley-Lawrence and Matt Hodges, the first of the “Farm to Function” workshops will take place at Britain’s Fittest Farmer judge Tom Kemp’s Farm Fitness gym in Essex, on 3 February.

Aimed at both farmers and fitness fanatics alike, the seminars will promote the mutual benefits to both industries.

See also: The hunt is on for Britain’s Fittest Farmer 2024

Silas explains: “For Matt, coming from the high-end fitness and nutrition world, better-quality foods that are more nutrient dense and packed with micronutrients have always been an interest.

“We started talking about how this linked in with regenerative agriculture, people and the planet, and it was a bit of a lightbulb moment.

“If you are in the performance world, where what you put into your body is everything, then this is the kind of food, and farming, that athletes should be eating and supporting.”

While Silas will speak on topics surrounding regenerative farming methods, breaking down what this means, its effect on people, the planet, soil and climate, Matt will unpack what benefits regeneratively produced foods can have in terms of fitness – from nutrition, food quality, recovery and performance. 

“It’s basically joining the dots from the soil to the crop or livestock, to the food product, to what that food on your plate does for the athlete,” Silas explains.

“These guys spend a fortune on supplements and minerals and micronutrients, whereas if they just bought better-quality meat that has been properly grown, all of those elements that elevate the health and performance of your body are so much higher in foods grown within these systems.

“On top of this, we hope to educate on how it can reduce risk of drought and flooding, and do amazing things for insects and birds and habitats.”

From a farming perspective, the pair also hope to show how farmers can capitalise on unique markets. 

“We want to showcase the best of our industry and signpost these fitness-mad people with money to spend on good-quality produce.

“It is also to show farms and farmers that there are these amazingly lucrative markets and potential business opportunities that we could be tapping into better, but our communication outside of our own sector is not great.

“When you bring in something like CrossFit and these ultra-athletes, it creates an amazing shop window for people going beyond the normal food production model.”

Find more information on the upcoming seminar online.