A government minister, Mark Spencer of Defra, publicly endorsed Clarkson’s efforts to turn his 1,000-acre property in Oxfordshire into a profitable farm ahead of the release of Clarkson’s Farm Season 2.
Andrew Loftus, from Loftus Farms in North Yorkshire, praised the show, despite Clarkson’s polarizing reputation, saying he and his family thoroughly enjoyed watching every episode.
“Clarkson is very divisive figure and that can flavour people’s opinions of the show, but I’ve watched every episode with my family and loved it,” he said.
“Clearly he hams it up for laughs, but his frustration with officialdom will chime with many farmers, while Kaleb’s (Cooper, Clarkson’s farming assistant) dry humour and simple love of country life warms the heart.”
George Beach, managing director of Mudwalls Farm in Redditch, also expressed support for the show, citing its ability to shed light on the difficulties and risks faced by farmers:
“I think it is absolutely good for farmers indeed.
“From the last series I can only comment of course. It was a real eye opener for many and quite honestly brought a few home truths about the hard work it is to be a farmer and for very little reward and lots of risks too.”
Rob Rose of Rosewood Farm in York views the series as providing a much-needed perspective on the future of the farming industry, though he believes that more is needed than just celebrity endorsement:
“The novice eye view format of Clarkson’s Farm is just what the industry needs in these times of uncertainty over it’s future direction.
“Jeremy’s rather simplistic approach to farming is an impression that many people share and seeing him get bogged down in the complexity and difficult of the business, even with expert advice, communicates the reality rather well.
“Making a good show about farming does not make him a farming ambassador, however, as farming needs much more than brash celebrity endorsement.”
During a Farmers Weekly event, Minister Spencer was asked about Clarkson’s role as an ambassador for British farming. He stated that Clarkson has reached a consumer group that Defra and the National Farmers Union have not been able to, making him a positive influence. However, Spencer made it clear that these were his personal views and not those of Defra:
“He’s been a huge and very positive influence on that generation of consumers that we can’t get to, that the NFU (National Farmers Union) can’t get to and Defra can’t get to, so credit to him.
“He has his own controversial style but has reached people we’ve been unable to reach, and I think on balance that’s a good thing.”
Clarkson recently called for the government to double food prices in order to support farmers, arguing that local councils need to provide more support to ensure the survival of the industry. We’ll learn more about his efforts as we watch the Prime Video show that can be streamed from today.