15 April 2020
Farming Connect has seen a surge in listeners to their podcast named Ear to the Ground (Clust i’r Ddaear). Launched in September 2019, this is the first farming podcast of its kind to be available in both Welsh and English. Aimed at sharing advice, support and inspiration to the farming community of Wales, it’s now attracting an audience in excess of 1,000 listeners each month and numbers are growing.
Presenters, Aled Rhys Jones and Jim Ellis, are really pleased with its success. “Podcasts offer a great way to learn new things while on the go, whether you are listening in the tractor, pick-up truck or even in the bath!” according to Aled.
“With the current lockdown situation affecting everyone’s daily lives, listening to a podcast is an escape and offers company and comfort during what can be lonely and difficult times” he added.
Statistics show that the number of Ear to the Ground podcast listeners has grown significantly in March demonstrating there is a real appetite for information during the Coronavirus outbreak and the most recent episode on maximising the utilisation of spring grass has been one of the most popular yet.
“The day-to-day work of farming continues, despite the virus” according to co-presenter, Jim Ellis.
“We’ve covered a cross-section of farming related topics over the last six months from rotational grazing advice, new technologies, international study visits to the Netherlands and Iceland, features on demonstration farms to a podcast on growing Christmas trees”.
With over 7 hours of content to listen to, the episodes are based on interviews with farmers and industry experts. Their conversational and relaxed style has proven successful in drawing and retaining listeners, together with tackling potentially ‘heavy’ subjects in a light-hearted and easy-to-understand manner.
“There’s no shortage of topics to cover and stories to tell” according to Aled “and we’ve been really impressed by how open and willing people are to share their experiences - the good and the bad - in order to help others”.
For Jim, the highlight has been the rotational grazing episode with Rhidian Glyn and James Daniel of Precision Grazing Ltd. “Having practical usable advice from James alongside Rhidian the farmer who’s utilised this was very interesting” said Jim.
Rhodri Jones, Agricultural Officer at Farming Connect believes that the podcast is a very effective platform to deliver knowledge transfer to the agricultural industry.
“Podcasts have been around for a while but are now obviously growing in popularity. Subscribing to this one will allow you to choose from a wide range of topics that will hopefully enrich your knowledge in key areas of your business” said Rhodri.
“We will also sign-post you to further Farming Connect services within each episode”.
A new episode is released every fortnight (Sundays at 5pm) and people can find the Ear to the Ground podcast on all the major platforms including Apple and Spotify as well as the Farming Connect website.
Farming Connect, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.