The rural issues it explores are no surprise to The Yorkshire Post or to readers familiar with how hard it is for farmers to make money.
However, what the programme has done is spread awareness about this tough way of life to a general audience.
Good timing, then, for recommendations from North Yorkshire’s landmark Rural Commission report.
Chris Clark, one of those who has spent two years examining the future of the industry as part of the commission, is straight forward about what’s gone wrong: “The key is that farming is in trouble. It doesn’t matter whether it’s arable or upland or mixed livestock. We’re in trouble. And the reason that we’re in trouble is that we’ve got things wrong through our leadership, the leadership of the agricultural industry.”
The report says the problems facing the industry reflect the shortcomings of a subsidised industry, “which has often enabled inefficient farming practices”, and that farmers who do not fully understand the business process need help through coaching to make profits.
It recommends that North Yorkshire County Council and Yorkshire Agricultural Society should set up a new Farm Business Task Force to direct the culture change needed and to ensure changed business practice meets environmental targets.
The Great Yorkshire Show, which also showcases farming to a general audience, starts a week today – another timely chance to pay heed to changes that must happen to save livelihoods.