Having been fascinated by agriculture from an early age, new Guild member David Williams spent every spare minute after school and at weekends helping out on local farms. That enthusiasm is now being channelled on to the pages of the monthly magazine Farmers Guide in his role as machinery and features editor.
“After training in arable agriculture and mechanisation at Shuttleworth agricultural college, I joined an expanding agricultural business to run a machinery franchise and developed it to become one of the leading suppliers of quad bikes in the UK,” says David. “But my college years and while running the dealership, I was also involved in agricultural media, taking photographs of agricultural machinery on a freelance basis for books and journals, including Farming News and Farmers Weekly.”
David later combined his communication skills, photography abilities and fascination for agricultural machinery by contributing freelance articles to Farmers Weekly and Farmers Guide, as well as to country sports magazines. In more recent years he became a frequent contributor to Farm Contractor, providing farmer and contractor profile stories, as well as assisting with the coverage of product launches.
“When the vacancy for a features writer came up at Farmers Guide, I had no hesitation applying,” he says. “During the 23 years I was running the machinery business, I knew that if I wrote a promotional article, or ran an advert about a new product in the magazine, it would immediately generate calls from farmers.
“I always enjoyed the complete mix of farming-related articles in the magazine, and it was obvious to me that farmers enjoyed it as much as I did,” he adds. “The timing of Farmers Guide’s vacancy was ideal; I was ready for a new challenge and it attracted me as a family business with everyone involved taking huge pride in the success of the magazine.”
Increased demand for the magazine to cover a wider geographical area from manufacturers, dealers and farmers has meant a programme of controlled expansion during the past 18 months. Feedback from both new and existing readers and advertisers has been very positive, says David.
“Even in the time I’ve been at Farmers Guide the number of requests to cover events and new product launches has increased rapidly, so I am frequently out of the office and travelling further afield,” he adds. “I come from a family in which agricultural machinery and writing has always played a significant part; it’s a great industry to work in, very friendly, and with always something happening.
“I feel lucky to have been able to turn a hobby into an enjoyable and rewarding career,” says David.