A Thank You Letter to Jeremy Clarkson

If you haven’t already watched Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime, do so now.

One Christmas morning, about 15 years ago, I got my first iPod touch. It was by far the coolest piece of tech I’d ever owned up to that point. With a mean 16GB of memory, I could download hours and hours worth of movies, TV shows, games, and oh yeah, probably 4000+ songs. The first thing I did however, was open up the iTunes store and buy a few episodes of my favorite show, Top Gear.

One of the episodes I bought was when the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May bought 3 inexpensive cars and turned them into police pursuit vehicles. Jeremy’s car had iron spikes welded to the rims while Richards had a tire spike strip mounted to the front. As usual, the episode was filled with hilarious calamity and complaining at how slow James May was driving.

Top Gear was a large part of my childhood. Here in the U.S., the show only aired on BBC America. So when it was on, you can bet I was glued to the TV. My friend Max and I would always send clips to each other of some of the exotic sports cars they’d have on the show or even the famous episode where they shot cars from a car cannon…seriously, that was a thing. My dad would even get some laughs out of the show as the trio would race around the country side while towing campers. Probably the coolest parts of the show were the grand adventures across countless countries. Driving across Africa, or though the Alps, or even here in the U.S., Jeremy, Richard, James, and their film crews always did an amazing job documenting the beautiful landscape of every country they visited.

Fast-forward a few years and now the trio is on the Grand Tour on Amazon. The same crazy adventures and multi-million dollar super cars can be found, just this time on a more convenient platform.

A little over a year ago, something cool broke out on my news feed, “Jeremy Clarkson Starts Filming Farming Show for Amazon Prime.” Just the thought of Clarkson working on a farm sparked my interested. While Jeremy is sometimes a bit brash and crazy, his entertaining skills are second to none. If anyone could do a farming show, it would be him. After the announcement, we didn’t really hear a whole lot about the show for quite some time. Almost a year after news broke, a trailer dropped. And boy did it look pretty darn cool. The trailer was followed by waiting and more waiting.

Until finally the series was released. And let me tell you…it did not disappoint.

Clarkson’s Farm is one of, if not THE, greatest series I have ever watched. Full stop.

I’ve been around farming and agriculture for a large portion of my life. It’s an industry that doesn’t get a whole lot of respect. We treat celebrity chefs with the utmost respect, but have no clue who our closest farmer is. Most people don’t know how much hard work goes into farming.

But now, thanks to Jeremy Clarkson, they do.

During the course of the series, we see Jeremy learn how to plow, how to care for sheep, how to harvest a crop, and even how to open his very own farm shop. His honesty throughout the series is both hilarious and inspiring. He starts out by not knowing how to plow a field and by the end he’s a natural. And of course, Jeremy’s typical over-the-top self shows up as he buys a monstrous Lamborghini tractor.

Jeremy doesn’t sugar coat anything during the series. He showcases the struggles of farming. Struggles like months on end of rain that all but ruins a crop, or the loss of sheep, or even the struggles of farming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I know this might sound cheesy, but while I watched this show I was so close to tearing up at a few scenes. As the music swells during several scenes while Clarkson and the gang are harvesting, I was so thrilled that farming is FINALLY getting the attention it deserves. It is FINALLY getting a series professionally and artistically curated to show what REAL life is like on a farm. It’s hard. It’s a 24/7 job. It’s back breaking. It’s essential.

But it’s also beautiful. It’s rewarding. And it’s worth every bit of heartache. Now Clarkson is most likely a millionaire several times over. So it’s not like he needed this operation to be a success. He had the resources needed to invest in equipment, personnel, etc. So while it was extremely difficult for him, imagine how difficult it might be for someone without his financial background. Someone whose livelihood is almost completely dependent on how well mother nature might cooperate that year. This is the real struggle of hundreds of thousands of farmers across the world.

So, to Jeremy Clarkson and everyone involved in the production of Clarkson’s Farm, I want to say this:

Thank You. Thank you for showing millions of people what life is a farmer is like. Thank you for being honest and entertaining in your approach to this often overlooked industry. The artistry and production of this series was astounding and unlike anything I have ever seen. I’ve heard farmers, ranchers, and people outside of agriculture say nothing but positive things about this show. Clarkson undertook an enormous challenge for his first year of farming. While many obstacles where thrown in his way, and even if he only profited $144, he succeed. Jeremy succeeded in telling his story and sharing how difficult and yet how rewarding farming is. And to Jeremy, thank you for your sincerity during your first farming season. We could tell you felt overwhelmed, but you didn’t give up and you hammered right through some of the biggest challenges anyone could imagine on a farm. Also, it was great to see the MFB again.

Thank you for this series. It’s everything I hoped it would be and so much more.

It’s clear how successful this show has been since it’s release. It’s been one of Amazon’s biggest original shows, ever! After only about four weeks out, it already has an order for a second season. So even more is in store to see Jeremy and the gang take on farming for a second year.

If you haven’t already seen the series, go and watch it. You will not regret it. It hits all the right notes. You’ll laugh (a lot), you’ll learn a thing or two about farming, and you might even tear up a bit.

In the meantime, I guess it’s back to reruns of The Office.

– T

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