Ally Hunter Blair

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It started as a mission to prove that British farming is “not just a load of grumpy old men in flat caps’’.

Now, with more than 55,000 followers on social media and his own YouTube channel, Ally Hunter-Blair is one of the country’s best known farmers.

By using videos and photographs to capture the highs and lows of life on a British farm, Ally is seen as a principal farming influencer, engaging with his followers to promote the industry he makes a living from.

He gives those followers a true ‘warts and all’ insight into farming, capturing footage on the 500-acre holding he and his family farm near Ross on Wye, predominantly arable land owned by The Duchy of Cornwall.

Ally uses digital platforms to share that story and communicate with a curious public, taking every opportunity to champion British agriculture and promote a sustainable farming approach.

“I don’t shy away from the hard truths but keep it light, fun and something people enjoy following,’’ he explains.

It is not just social media that gives him that platform but television appearances too – Ally and the farm have featured in several TV programmes including more recently Born Mucky – Life on the Farm on the Discovery channel.

Just as Ally’s wife, a horse-riding instructor, has used her skills to help the business diversify into the equestrian industry, his social media and television activities are a modern form of business diversification.

He doesn’t flinch from some of the more difficult the questions that come his way on social media, taking the approach of being open and honest about his farming operations, whether or not they are a success.

He not only uses those digital platforms to highlight the difficulties individuals and businesses in agriculture are experiencing, but the government too, and how these directly affect those around him.

This he does to give an understanding of how decisions made by others can directly affect a business.

Ally encourages other farmers to follow his lead, to openly communicate to raise awareness of their experiences.

He has no plans to slow down, keeping up the current pace of making videos, adding photos and engaging with people.

“I want to keep selling the good news story that is British agriculture in a world where we are addicted to negative headlines,’’ he vows.

What the Judges said

A passionate farmer who has taken his TV appearances to another level through embracing digital channels and telling the story of what happens on farm to help educate consumers. This content is now having a very clear impact on his business with agri-product partnerships and sales through his diversification business.