Farmers are urged to consider diversification

Jimmy Doherty
Jimmy Doherty

Television’s favourite farmer, Jimmy Doherty, has joined forces with leading rural insurer NFU Mutual to help farmers plan diversification activities to support their farms after BREXIT.

In a series of five videos Jimmy will be investigating different aspects of planning and running a diversification enterprise alongside farming activities.

The videos feature Jimmy Doherty who took on 100 acres of run-down land in Suffolk and over a decade has developed a successful diversified farm which includes an award-winning restaurant, a nature trail, and a butterfly house. He also holds numerous science and food festivals throughout the year.

Jimmy said: “Farmers already have a wide and impressive skillset, I don’t know many people who can turn their hands to such a range of activities. If you have confidence in your abilities, then the opportunities to diversify are endless. With some imagination, resilience and hard work, you can make a success of it

“At Jimmy’s Farm, we’ve done everything – from rearing rare breed animals to hosting educational visits – but have had particular success with running events, such as weddings and festivals.

“My experience developing a visitor attraction and wedding venue has taught me that unless you have vast amounts of money, you can’t set up an all-singing, all-dancing wedding venue or festival straight away.

“Running an events space is a big commitment and responsibility and to have long-term success, your events need to be consistently special and run without a hitch, or your customers will leave dissatisfied.

“You need to try things out, see what works and keep building on your successes. Don’t run before you can walk and seek advice from farmers and specialists along the way.”

Farmers can follow NFU Mutual’s diversification videos featuring Jimmy Doherty and other farmers with fascinating stories to tell on nfumutual.co.uk/diversification from July 16.