Britain’s Fittest Farmer: Mental health champ award launches

Finalists in this year’s Britain’s Fittest Farmer competition have an extra chance to win by doing their bit to raise awareness of mental health challenges in agriculture.

Farmers Weekly has teamed up with the competition’s charity partner, the Farming Community Network (FCN), to launch the FarmWell Award, which recognises contestants’ understanding and proactiveness when it comes to wellbeing matters such as stress, depression and loneliness.

The next round of Britain’s Fittest Farmer 2020 is set to be held on 26 and 27 September at Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writer David Butler‘s farm in Wiltshire.

See also: Video: 6 simple exercises to keep you fit on the farm

More than 80 contestants from right across the UK are limbering up to compete in the two-day event.

The qualifier round will put each competitor through their paces in a gruelling series of physical challenges designed to test their speed, strength and stamina.

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

The 20 finalists will be asked to record a 60-second video to demonstrate how they stay mentally healthy and well on the farm. 

“Britain’s Fittest Farmer is a fantastic initiative that helps to promote good physical health and wellbeing among farmers,” says FCN chief executive Jude McCann.

“Alongside tests of physical strength, there is a significant mental health component as well. FCN’s FarmWell Award invites competitors to show us how they stay resilient and mentally well while on their farms.

“By creating ‘One Minute Wellness’ videos, we hope this award will help to open a positive dialogue around mental health and personal wellbeing in the farming community.”

Aside from the overall prize of £1,000 cash for the male and female champions, the winner of the FarmWell Award will bag themselves a short break in the Suffolk countryside.

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.

Visit the Britain’s Fittest Farmer website for full details and watch the video below to get a taste of what the competition is all about.

Britain’s Fittest Farmer: Our sponsor and partners

Grenadier: 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.