Lancashire dairy farmer Tom Pemberton was one of the first young farmers to become a social media influencer. Sharing his farming life with what is now a global audience, he continues to promote the industry and embrace new opportunities which have since come his way.

Tom Pemberton epitomises how to bring everyday farming to the masses and capture their attention through the power of digital media. From a typical young farmer going about his daily business on his family’s dairy farm, the 30-year-old shares his highs and lows ‘and everything in-between’ with people around the world – and they cannot get enough. Having amassed more than 500,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel – Tom Pemberton Farm Life – he regularly generates multi-million views on his dedicated vlog. From the turnout of his cows to grass to dealing with hoof health and yard jobs, his no-nonsense, warts and all content and signature Lancashire drawl have also sparked huge followings across social media, especially through Instagram and TikTok.

There is even chance to buy Tom Pemberton official merchandise. So how does a sixth generation, traditional dairy farm in a seaside town become a YouTube and social media sensation? After returning home from the Royal Agricultural University to work on the 101-hectare (250- acre) farm in Lytham, Tom was inspired to create a video in 2016 about the farm’s newly installed milk vending machine and the virtues of drinking raw milk. At the time, it generated just 12 views. But, thanks to a combination of his infectious enthusiasm and irrepressible passion for farming, his twice-weekly updates now regularly go viral. His video about building a high-tech scratching brush for his cows has currently been seen 8m times alone. He is usually found marching around a mud-ridden landscape with a GoPro and drone, articulately telling viewers about the stories happening at Birks Farm, along with much-loved banter with his dad Andrew, who is affectionately known as the Ginger Warrior.

Most do not realise how difficult [producing our food] is and I am not talking about long hours. It is using your head to produce the food and it takes a lot of thought.” Tom Pemberton

Ironically, it was his father who warned him to steer clear of agriculture, warning it was heavy on the back and light on pay. It looked likely he might have took heed, particularly because as a teenager Tom describeshimself as ‘quite lazy’, but after an epiphany moment during a holiday in Portugal, he says: “I suddenly wanted to put on a boilersuit and get stuck right in.” After spending time working with their former parlourmanager, Tom went on to run the farm full-time, supported by his dad, mum Ailsa and wife Joanne.Alongside the milk vending machine, they have diversified into a farm shop, which sells meat directly from the farm, and introduced beef cattle, sheep and goats. His growing presence and warm personality have proved to be a runaway success and he is engaging with large swathes of the non-farming public in a humorous, but also enlightening
way. Tom says: “We started six years ago making these small videos and it has kind of exploded into what it is today, which is incredible and I am very fortunate. “People seem to relate to our highs and struggles and at the end of the day I am happiest when I am at home with the cows.”


Winning many admirers within the farming community, as well as becoming part of a new wave of stereotype-smashing young farmers, Tom has gone on to front BBC3’s new tractor-racing series The Fast and the Farmer-ish after his YouTube channel was scouted by producers. Nicknamed Crop Gear, the programme featured two tractor teams of young farmers from the four home nations, competing against each other in a series of driving challenges. He says: “I felt proud to present on a channel which is so youth-focused and I hoped it showed that farming is a very real career option and maybe one that people might not have considered before. “I think many might still see farming as old-fashioned, but I believe it is changing. It is still generational, but it is a young game too. Look at the likes of YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, there is a massive younger generation pushing the industry out there.”

Continuing to raise the profile of British agriculture, he put pen to paper to write his first book, Make Hay While The Sun Shines, which tells of his year on the farm, which he openly admits has been written by a ghost writer. Tom says: “I was always good at maths, but I struggled with English and I was eventually diagnosed as dyslexic.

“I do not see it as a disadvantage, it is just a different way of thinking.” It is this kind of transparency which has helped catapult the role of British farmers and the agricultural world to an audience who normally would never give it a thought in any one time of a day. Tom uses his digital platform to help breakdown ongoing negativity surrounding farming and agriculture. He says: “A common misconception is that it is easy to produce what we do and how much detail is needed to produce the food we eat.

“Most do not realise how difficult it is and I am not talking about long hours. It is using your head to produce the food and it takes alot of though.”

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This award recognises an individual or group of people who are Flying the Flag for British Agriculture by making a positive difference across the agricultural industry. They may be campaigning about a specific cause or issue and/ or raising positive awareness about the role of farming to the public. You can nominate someone you feel is Flying the Flag for British Agriculture. They will not be notified that they have been nominated unless they are chosen as the winner of the award.
For more information on the category and the British Farming Awards, visit