The Van Trump Report

How a Famous British Personality Has Become an Unlikely Hero and Spokesman for Farmers Around the World

Farmers around the world have found an unlikely hero in former “Top Gear” and “Grand Tour” host Jeremy Clarkson. The subject of his latest show, “Clarkson’s Farm”, is his aptly named farm “Diddly Squat,” which is exactly how much Clarkson knew about farming when the project began. The show’s first season was actually released back in June 2021 and is currently in the middle of filming its third. Some folks in the office recently gave the show a shot and were surprised at just how good it is, not only as entertainment but as a realistic depiction of farming – no matter the country.  

The series documents Clarkson’s attempts at running a 1,000-acre farm in the Cotswolds, and it has received largely positive reviews from farmers and non-farmers alike. While Clarkson has some very deep pockets to help finance his venture, farmers have nonetheless applauded the show for bringing attention to the never-ending challenges they face and raising awareness globally among the general public. In case you are wondering, Clarkson’s political views favor that of personal freedom and are against government regulation, stating that government should “build park benches and that is it. They should leave us alone.” 

The first season began filming in 2019, a year when farmers in Clarkson’s area faced one of the wettest and most difficult planting seasons in recent history, and continued shooting as the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world in 2020. Clarkson doesn’t sugarcoat any of the difficulties the farm faces, from unpredictable weather and uncooperative livestock, to endless government bureaucracy and measly profit margins. Many farmers found the end of season 1 – when Clarkson reveals a mere $200 profit from his first year of crazy hard work – particularly relatable.  

The show also doesn’t try to gloss over Clarkson’s lack of farming knowledge. In fact, it’s a centerpiece of the series, especially his interactions with the locals he’s employed to help him learn the ropes. In particular, local farmer Kaleb Cooper, who Clarkson often calls upon for help,  doesn’t try to hide how flabbergasted he is by Clarkson’s many, many questionable decisions. There are also lot’s of funny moments with professional agronomist and land agent Charlie Ireland, who continually finds himself trying to steer Clarkson away from his own worst instincts and inform him of all the rules he’s constantly breaking…and how much money he’s not making.

The farming industry has hailed Clarkson for highlighting the issues modern farmers are trying to navigate and are mostly unknown by the public. Many were surprised by this, too, initially expecting the show to be nothing more than a stunt for Clarkson to deliver a few laughs. The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) of England and Wales named Clarkson “Farming Champion of the Year” in 2021 for showcasing the realities of farming to millions of viewers.  

Clarkson himself is a controversial figure and has often been pummeled by the press and public alike for his “inappropriate,” off-the-cuff comments. But Clarkson’s unapologetic views are also part of the show’s charm. Whether you love or hate the man himself, it’s worth checking the show out for the laughs you’re sure to get over the newby farmer’s complete incompetence at operating his ridiculous Lamborghini R8 tractor, wrangling a herd of “ruinously expensive” sheep, and the berating he humbly takes from Cooper in nearly every episode.  

Even though the show is set in England, the challenges and joys of farming translate across borders, with many similarities to agriculture in the US. Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available on Amazon Prime with a third and final season expected early next year. The series can be found HERE. Check out this clip documenting some of his most hilarious season 1 mishaps HERE. Forewarning – Clarkson’s frustration is often accompanied by some pretty coarse language!

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