Staff journalists at Farmers Weekly and freelancers specialising in machinery and mechanisation have been preparing for the launch of a new venture that will test farmers’ appetite for paying to access online content.
All members of the Guild, they have been involved in helping shape the subject matter and presentation of content on the Power Farming site, as well as getting to grips with the myriad technical issues involved.
“Several years’ planning and development have gone into the new website, which revives a once popular print title in a modern online format,” says Julian Gairdner, Farmers Weekly digital director. “It’s a product that has in-depth features on technical, finance and machine maintenance topics and a unique searchable database of all the different agricultural tractor build variations on the market.
“Together with the forum, where farmers will be encouraged to exchange views and experiences about the machines they use, I’m optimistic that these elements will attract farmers into paying the modest annual subscription,” he adds.
Fellow Guild member James Andrews has been appointed editor of the new website. A farmer’s son from Shropshire who now lives in Oxfordshire, James studied at Newcastle University and spent the previous two years working as a reporter on the Farmers Weekly arable desk. He now has day-to-day control of the website and its content.
Other Guild members involved in the project are FW machinery editor David Cousins and freelance Peter Hill, who compiled the tractor database holding almost 850 individual price and specification entries. Fellow machinery writers and Guild members Andy Collings, Andrew Pearce and Martin Rickatson are also contributing on technical, legal and machinery management topics.
Part of the Power Farming team: Editor James Andrews is flanked by Farmers Weekly machinery editor David Cousins (left) and new machinery desk recruit Oliver Mark. Behind are Andy Collings (left) and Peter Hill.