A new short film, aimed at raising the feel-good factor amongst Scotland’s farmers, has launched on social media this week.
The film, “We all need a farmer”, is the work of award-winning Director, Jason Connery, and narrated by renowned Scottish actor Ian Pirie.
Scott Brown, a Midlothian farmer and Animal Health Advisor with Dumfries based Murray Farmcare instigated the short film with the aim of boosting morale and mental well-being in the agricultural community.
“Everyone, including the farming community has had a difficult time facing up to Covid-19 in the past 18 months. But, in many cases, the impact of the pandemic simply added to the burden of uncertainty faced by Scottish farmers around issues like Brexit and climate change. Sadly, these wider challenges can pile up on top of people and in the past few years we have seen a significant increase in mental health issues in the farming community.”
“For me personally, statistics become numbers that really hit home when farmers from my local community take their own lives. In February of this year, a local farmer and friend Grant Brand took his own life, and for me, the tragic loss of Grant was the catalyst to try and do something to hopefully make a difference to the mindset of other people who may also be struggling mentally.”
“Then one day, during lambing, I was sitting on a bale browsing on YouTube waiting for a ewe to lamb and I stumbled upon the excellent film, ‘So God Made A Farmer’, by Paul Harvey. This was where the spark of the idea for our own film came from.”
“I had a chat with Nina Clancy at RSABI and then approached my friend Monty (Ross Montague) from Scene & Herd to discuss my idea to create something similar for our own Scottish agricultural community. I really wanted to create something to remind farmers that they really are valued amongst themselves and by wider society, as well as helping to illustrate to those not in agriculture, what farmers do on a daily basis.
“Monty was always keen that this did not become a ‘thank a farmer’ type exercise and I agreed, we were not looking for people to say thank you to farmers in the same way as they rightly did for the NHS workers and front line workers at the height of the pandemic – we simply wanted to give farmers pride in what they do, and let them know they are valued too!”
The ‘We all need a Farmer’ short film features a series of striking images of farming and the Scottish countryside donated by a plethora of talented photographers. Esteemed actor Ian Pirie lends his unmistakable voice to the narration accompanied by an especially composed musical score by Tom Lyne.
The film focuses on the work that farmers do to produce food and maintain the Scottish countryside whilst also emphasising the strength of the farming community in looking out for each other, helping neighbours and wider society and dealing with the challenges of weather, politics and volatile markets.
Jason Connery, the award-winning film Director who donated his time to the project commented:
“I now live on the edge of a family farm in the Scottish Borders. I see how hard my neighbours work to put food on our tables and to maintain the glorious, beautiful countryside. When Scott approached me for help with this project, I was only too happy to come on board.”
“The words that Scott and Monty wrote as the script for ‘We all need a Farmer’ are fantastic and I knew when I read them that this had potential to be a really good short film. I hope that it gives the farming community the boost they deserve.”
Ross Montague of Scene & Herd stated:
“There are too many farming suicides, too much mental suffering in the community. I am hugely grateful to Scott for bringing this project to me. Like Scott and many others, I have felt helpless in the aftermath of suicide and had the urge to do something, without knowing what. Co-writing the script for this short film and working with the team to bring this together is my start.”
“We hope people like the film, we hope it makes them appreciate farmers a bit more and we hope that it will help farmers themselves see the worth in what they do. Most of all I hope people enjoy it!”
‘We all need A Farmer’ can be found on YouTube (https://youtu.be/6lbWDC6CWc8) and across social media. The team behind the writing, planning, narration, production, and promotion of this short film, donated their expertise and time free of charge and Murray Farmcare were also generous in their support of the film and project aims.
The film is set to play a key part in the launch of a major new campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues in farming; FarmStrong, an initiative born in rural New Zealand will be brought to Scotland in the near future thanks to financial backing from the Movember charity.
Notes to Editors:
WE ALL NEED A FARMER
From the Solway Coast to the Highland Glens
from the rich red Border soils to the waves of Muckle Flugga,
where the Peeweep flies and the Curlew cries and the Hare nibbles grass in the sun….
…….We all need a Farmer
Farming….. more than just a job…it’s a special way of life,
where families pull together, work the land with nature’s helping hand
and whatever the weather throws their way…..
to overcome adversity and rejoice a better day!
…….We all need a Farmer
When the rain comes wrong, or the sun doesn’t shine
and the crop doesn’t quite make the grade,
or the sale price is poor and cattle don’t sell
no profit is going to be made,
…. harness resolve…maybe shed a tear,
there’s always the hope of a better next year!
When there’s cows to milk, up before the sun
then off to drive the school bus on the local parish run,
When there’s snow on the road and its lying deep
and it’s blown in the fields and it’s buried the sheep.
…..We all need a Farmer
Strong of the arm …strong of the brain, pushing on through the wind and the rain,
When a neighbour is struggling to till all their land or a lambs coming breach …help is at hand!
…..We all need a farmer
When the flames of Foot and Mouth set fire to hopes and dreams
and the changing face of Brexit means that nothing’s as it seems,
Digging deep, reaching out to friends in every way
the community is strong …we’re here to stay!
When it’s off to the Show with the Team we go,
It’s the weekend but there’s no time to rest…
for the public deserve the best!
The finest of Farming is coming to town
there’s stock to parade and new Champions to crown.
…We all need a Farmer
Because the folks need to know where the food they eat grows,
Whether breakfast is snap, crackle and pop or a latte with a froth on the top,
lunch!..a pie from the butchers or a tasty quiche to share
Scotland’s food is raised with tender love and care.
We see a Dentist and a Mechanic for an annual MOT,
a Banker and a Barber…..Once a month will do for me!
But…Every day in every way
Veg, cereal, fruit, dairy or meat,
we would all get nowhere with nothing to eat!!!
…. And that is why ……we all need a Farmer!
Words by Scott Brown and Ross (Monty) Montague, May 2021