Lytham farmer Tom in line for national award

Tom Pemberton on the family farm at Ballam Road, Lytham
Tom Pemberton on the family farm at Ballam Road, Lytham

A Lytham farmer is in contention for a national prize after attracting a massive international online following for his family’s business.

Tom Pemberton is among five nominees in the digital innovator category of the British Farming Awards, being held in Birmingham on Thursday evening, October 18.

The enterprising 26-year-old, whose family has farmed at Ballam Road for generations, reports on matters there twice weekly on his own You Tube internet video channel – and has been staggered at just how interest has grown in short time.

The channel has attracted more than five million hits and has some 36,000 subscribers after being started almost by accident less than two years ago.

“We introduced a raw milk machine at the farm and I was chatting with my girlfriend Joanna, a media student, when the idea of promoting it with a video came up,” said Tom.

“That attracted 12,000 views and it really helped bring in custom, so we thought we would do something similar when we opened our farm shop and interest grew from there.

“It built up gradually and as I added more and more updates, it was attracting feedback from ever further afield and the hits and the number of subscribers just grew.”

Tom has invested in a drone to feature overhead footage in his report and interest is such that he has even started his own range of branded clothing.

Supporting Tom at the awards ceremony at the National Conference Centre will be dad Andrew, mum Ailsa and girlfiend Joanna.

Andrew, who nominated Tom for the award, said: “I am really proud of him.”

Tom added: “It’s great to be nominated. Farming is seen generally as a very traditional industry so this shows how well new technology can work to promote it and spread the word about how we work and what we do.”