Behind the scenes of a farming year
- Credit: Chris Lockwood
They say in life you should do the things you love.
And it is a maxim which Chris Lockwood has taken to heart setting up a new company Anglian Agri Media specialising in producing and publishing agricultural documentary films.
The films focus mainly on arable farming with an emphasis on both modern and classic machinery and the experienced agricultural journalist and film-maker has just released his first two DVDS, a Year Farming With Deere.
The two-part series follow a year with contract farming operation Reed Agriculture. Based in north Suffolk, the business covers 3000 acres and uses almost exclusively John Deere machinery, hence the title.
Interviews and narration describe in detail more than 100 sequences over the course of the two 100 minute programmes, which are primarily aimed at those in the industry as well as enthusiasts of all ages.
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Particular emphasis is placed on showing the impressive array of modern equipment used, with nearly 60 machines featured over both discs, including more than 40 tractors with examples from most of the popular John Deere ranges produced during the past 10 years.
“I come from a farming family and spent a lot of time visiting my Grandad’s Norfolk farm whilst growing up,” says Chris. “Whether it’s truly in the blood or not as some people say I don’t know, but from a very early age I developed a love of farming and agricultural machinery.
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“I knew I wanted to pursue a career in agriculture of some sort but I wasn’t sure exactly what, agronomy perhaps, so I completed a National Diploma in agriculture at Otley college. While still at college I submitted a couple of small articles to Classic Tractor magazine and was then asked to cover local farm sales and auctions for them. I was then invited to attend a British Guild of Agricultural Journalist’s training course, for which I received a commendation. I found this extremely helpful, and I remain a member of the Guild.
“Having a keen interest in photography as well, at a similar time I also had my first book published by Old Pond Publishing of Ipswich, Know Your Tractors, a pocketbook aimed at the general public which shows a selection of the most popular tractors used on British farms. This sold well, and I followed it up with Know your Combines and Know you Classic Tractors.
“From the books I progressed onto producing the first of a successful range of documentary DVD programmes for Old Pond covering various types of farm machinery and farming stories. This involved researching, filming, scripting and editing the finished programmes, so the next step was to oversee production and take marketing in-house this year under the new Anglian Agri Media Ltd name for the latest two programmes.
“A machinery enthusiast myself, I have a special interest in East European tractors and equipment, and currently have a small but growing collection of five classic tractors.”
“The programmes were filmed last year on location in all weathers,” notes Chris. “This certainly helps to show the vagaries of the British seasons and consequently the knock on effects of what farmers have to deal with.
“What makes the farm particularly interesting is the extremely wide variety of soil types, ranging from light sand to heavy clay, and consequently a wide variety of crops are grown including wheat, barley, oilseed rape, sugar beet, peas, grass, parsley, onions and potatoes.”