Become A Direct Driller Patron, Pay It Forward

Written by Clive Bailye

Knowledge is power and it’s exchange is valuable. When I first considered changing the way we farmed I quicky began to realise and understand I didn’t really know how to, I needed to learn, fast.#

I sought out others that had the experience and skill set I knew I needed to have any chance of success. I was extremely fortunate that without exception everyone I spoke to was happy to help me and share knowledge often passed to them previously by others. These farmers all know who they are, some were in the UK so easy to reach, others I learnt from often required significant travel and the cost associated with that. I invested time and in some cases money in my reeducation and thankfully others invested their time in me, without reward and for that I will be forever grateful. It was an investment that has since paid me back many times over.

Direct Driller magazine was conceived just 4 years ago out of frustration that other farming media lacked the independence and quality information a farmer would need to move successfully to a regenerative agriculture system. Although the team behind bringing you the magazine have a web-based background, we realised that printed information can be powerful and physical media can be kept as a valuable source of reference on a shelf. As interest in alternative farming systems grew, we saw there was a rapidly growing movement in UK agriculture that really wasn’t being served, encouraged by others we felt we needed to fill that gap.

Following our core principles, we were determined to remain as independent as possible. Advertising was to be kept to a minimum and focus placed as much as possible on farmer’s content. We knew that farmers learnt best from other farmers and by blending it with quality information from academics and researchers in the same pages, we could create a truly interesting and useful publication that subscribers wanted to read from cover to cover. We have so far remained true to that ambition, this magazine carries only just enough adverts to cover its cost, none of the editorial staff or excellent farmer contributors are paid, we rely heavily on the generosity of others to share knowledge and experience as in many case others did for them in their transition to regenerative farming.

We have also remained true to our ambition to make this publication free to any reader creating no barriers for anyone interested in learning. Anyone in the world can get a PDF of the magazine for free. This growth and success have far exceeded any expectation. The feedback from you, the readers, has been amazing. But with this success has come a problem, you may have noticed we didn’t attend CropTec this year. We can’t afford any more readers. At a time when most magazines are seeing big drops in circulation our readership has grown rapidly and continues to do so with each issue. Like everything, inflation has also hit print and the cost to print magazines has grown. Each copy of the 100-page magazine costs us around £4.25 to collate, print and post so as circulation grows so do costs.

The usual solution is to change the ratio of advertising to content. Charging a subscription is another option we have considered, however, we don’t want barriers to learning. We could also limit the number of printed copies we produce. We feel the information printed in these pages really should be available to all. None of these options align well with the ethos of the publication. We know our farmer writers should be rewarded for sharing their hardearned knowledge and readers should have the facility to place a value upon that. Our solution is to launch the Direct Driller Patron programme which aims to give readers the opportunity to “pay it forward” and place a value on what they get from the magazine. But only once they feel they have learned something valuable. The funds raised will only be distributed among these writers (excluding our staff) and invested in developing and distributing better, independent, high-quality content.

I urge everyone reading to consider how much value you have gained from the information in the magazine? Has it saved you money? Inspired you to try something different? Entertained you? Helped you understand or solve a problem?

If the answer is “Yes”, please become a patron so that we can attract more new readers to the magazine and they can in turn learn without any barriers to knowledge. Simply scan the QR code to become a patron and support the continued growth and success of the magazine.

Another way to help is only have a printed copy if you really need it. Email us if you want to change to a digital subscription.