News: Chris is new champion for Norfolk farming community

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Chris is new champion for Norfolk farming community

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Norfolk’s farming community is set to get a new champion as Chris Hill becomes Archant Norfolk’s new agricultural, food and farming editor working on the Eastern Daily Press and sister titles.

Chris will report on the East Anglian farming world telling the stories of the farmers working to get food on plates right through to the pioneering world of Agri-Tech and precision farming, and also keeping an eye of laws affecting our rural communities coming out of Westminster and Brussels.

The 39-year-old succeeds Michael Pollitt, and while determined to build on the heritage and traditions instilled by Michael after nearly 30 years in post, he said he was also excited to be leading the EDP’s coverage into an exciting new era.

That will include engaging with the farming audience both in print, through social media and also through the Mustard TV channel.

Chris, who currently works as the community editor in the EDP’s Dereham office, began his career at Archant in 2007, and is no stranger to the countryside agenda, having worked for two years as the EDP’s rural affairs correspondent.

In his key new role, his brief will include overseeing the production of the EDP’s Farm and Country pages and the Agricultural Review, as well as reporting on farming, agri-tech, food and rural affairs issues. He will also play a key editorial role at events including the forthcoming Agri-Tech week, the Norfolk Farming Conference, and the Royal Norfolk Show.

Chris said: “I am naturally very excited at the prospect of taking on such an important role, at a pivotal time for the agricultural industry.

“Farming has always been a major part of our economy, and the dominating force on our landscape, so it has a fundamental effect on our rural communities.

“But with rising global demand coupled with legislative and conservation pressures, there’s never been a greater need for efficiency on our farms, through agri-tech investment, crop research and bringing more educated young people into the workforce.

“I’m keen to champion agriculture as a modern business, and explore all the ways our landowners are driving their businesses forward, whether that’s through producing crops, breeding livestock or generating renewable energy.

“There’s no doubt that Mike Pollitt will be a tough act to follow, but I’m looking forward to getting out there and meeting as many of our region’s farmers as I can, to hear about the issues affecting them, and the innovations which make their businesses a success.”

Shaun Lowthorpe, Archant Norfolk’s business publishing editor, said: “It’s great to welcome Chris to the team. He has an obvious passion for the subject and he is bursting with new ideas to take our coverage forward.”

When he formally takes up the role on September 22, Chris also hopes to develop the EDP farmers’ forum, giving those working in the industry the chance to set the news agenda and raise issues which they are experiencing in the field.

© Archant Ltd 2013