Serving the Farming Industry across the Midlands for 35 Years
A young farmer is undertaking a challenging feat of endurance to highlight mental health issues in agriculture. Tom York, a volunteer with the Farming... You can push through, says young farmer

A young farmer is undertaking a challenging feat of endurance to highlight mental health issues in agriculture.

Tom York, a volunteer with the Farming Community Network (FCN) and a student at Harper Adams University, will compete in a gruelling Ultimate Triathlon – comprising a 2.4-mile swim, 122-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run.

Help available

Having worked on farms and in the wider agricultural industry alongside his studies, Tom says he can understand how the highs and lows can take their toll on wellbeing. And he says: “You can push through.”

Tom talks about his own mental health challenges – how the FCN charity can provide help and how his friendship group was devastated to lose a fellow student to suicide.

“If I’d realised how much help was available, I would have reached out much sooner, and now I want to encourage others to talk. I don’t want to dwell on the darkness, but the light that emerges from it.”

Mental health

Tom believes the demanding nature of the triathlon mirrors the difficulties of coping with a period of poor mental health, and will use it to bring hope by demonstrating that with support and persistence, many challenges can be overcome.

FCN is working to improve the health and wellbeing of people in farming and provide support at times of difficulty and change. Tom is one of more than 300 FCN volunteers from across the agricultural sector.

Currently in his placement year at Wilson Wraight agricultural management consultants in Suffolk, he says he is encouraged by the support shown to him by his employer.

Wilson Wraight business manager Susan Doogan said: “The fact that our very own Iron Man, Tom, is taking on this gruelling challenge to further raise awareness and funds for FCN is fantastic.”

To make a donation, please search for ‘Tom York Ultimate Triathlon’ at www.justgiving.com