weekly farmersThe UK Fittest Farmer 2022 competition is officially open for entries.
The competition focuses on the health and well-being of our farmers to get them thinking – and most importantly, talking – about their mental and physical health to ensure they are in the best condition to manage their business.
Now in its fourth year, the event has become a staple of the farming calendar, attracting hundreds of competitors from across the UK to come and test their strength and endurance with a range of physical and mental challenges.
See also: Video: Britain’s Fittest Farmer – the 2021 final
We are looking for farmers who make fantastic ambassadors for health and fitness in agriculture, to help break the taboo of talking about mental health issues such as depression, eating disorders and isolation rural.
Britain’s Fittest Farmer has been designed to bring the topic of mental health into the open in a fun and inclusive way, so you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to participate.
We welcome those of all abilities aged 18+ who work in UK agriculture, and this year we’ve listened to your feedback and added a new category to the competition for the over 40s.
Last year’s winners were James Arney, 26, from Somerset, and Erica Robison, 32, from Cumbria. James picked up a historic double victory after his first win of 2020.
“I certainly didn’t think I would do it a second time,” he said, “but I thought I had to go back and defend my title – so nobody could say it was just crap. luck that I won the first year!”
Along with the other finalists, James and Erica tackled a variety of punishing physical tasks designed to test the limits of their endurance.
The couple also impressed the judges with their insights into mental health and how being physically fit contributed to the psychological strength needed to help them weather challenges and tough times.
James, who works on the family farm, is a firm believer in the benefits of exercise, especially for those working in stressful industries like agriculture.
“It can be hard to switch off when you live where you work, and there’s always something to do,” he said.
Fitness instructor Erica, who also helps out on her father’s farm just across the border in Scotland, wants to spread the word about the importance of good mental health.
“Generations ago there was just no talking about mental health issues, so there was no help available,” she said. “That’s why Britain’s Fittest Farmer is such a great initiative, because it puts equal emphasis on physical and mental health, and the two are so closely linked.”
How to enter
- Upload an image or video of you fittest on the farm to fwi.co.uk/britains-fittest-farmer, where you will also find all the competition information, including key dates and terms and conditions
- Tell us a bit about how you champion mental wellness in your life
- Be sure to leave your details so we can contact you