Richard Heady

Headys Farm, W.F. Heady & Sons, Buckinghamshire

The Heady family runs a 400ha mixed farm in Buckinghamshire, comprising mainly of 130ha of grassland, a suckler herd and a flock of Lleyn x Texel sheep.

The farm sells lamb and beef boxes to local customers, but the majority of beef from the farm goes to supermarkets through Dunbia Cardington.

Richard uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote the family business as well as the British farming industry in general.

“I post photos and videos from our farm informing the public about what we do and how we do it. This is a great platform to answer any questions they have and debate current issues,” says Richard.

“I think my videos are my strongest innovation. The aim is to start discussions, share ideas, ask questions and help the farming community.”

Richard measures the success in his beef and lamb marketing by the increase in sales and through customer feedback.

“It’s a great feeling when a customer leaves positive reviews online, or you get new customers from word-of-mouth alone. I started this in 2016 selling 8 lambs to local customers, and with the use of social media, grew this to 18 in 2017 and 22 in 2018.

This also opened up the opportunity to sell to local butchers who admired the transparency of the business resulting in the farm selling two thirds of their lambs within five miles of their farm in 2018.

With a look to the future, Richard aspires to create a topical farming podcast show, engaging with local farmers about current issues, with a hint of humour.

“I am currently taking part in ‘Just Farmers’ workshops which should help farmers like me to tell their story to the media and give a better representation of agriculture to the public.”