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“Let’s help our farms”: M6 launches its “Nightmare in the kitchen” for farmers

The new issue of La Six invites itself into the rural world to support two families of farmers in difficulty.

By Katia De la Ballina

Patrice Cougoureux and Marie Portolano help farmers.
© Homayoun Fiamor /M6

M6 invests again in the meadow… After the sentimental loneliness of the farmers to which the iconic Love is in the meadow has been trying to remedy for 18 years, it is their often precarious economic situation that the channel is now interested in in its new program Let’s help our farms, airing this Wednesday, June 28. With this adaptation of the British format Our Family Farm Rescue with Adam Henson, the chain therefore goes on a campaign to save two families of farmers, whose farms are in danger.

The opportunity to highlight the difficulties of the sector, but also to continue to plow the promising vein, in terms of hearings, of the rural world on TV. Especially since to cultivate the – hoped for – success of the program, M6 has added its favorite fertilizer: coaching. She enlisted a seasoned professional to get the farmers out of the rut and wake them up from their nightmare on the farm… His name? Patrice Cougoureux, who joins Stéphane Plaza, Cristina Cordula or even Philippe Etchebest in the stable of the channel’s zorro experts.

An expert to the rescue

After an atypical career, which led him to work in the marketing department of a bank as an advertising manager in an agricultural newspaper, then in real estate development, this Tarn farmer took over the family business in 2013 with success: “My mother, who had developed direct selling, asked me to create a website and send out mailings to publicize the activity, he explains. Little by little, I saw a lot of diversification tools to develop. So I decided to settle down to implement them. Today, he is at the head of a flourishing business* which offers, among other things, visits and meals at the farm, a nature park, 100% pure beef charcuterie…

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On the strength of his successful experience, the one who confesses to having “always been interested in the world of media since [son] younger age” agreed to mobilize his skills and his network to help his counterparts in difficulty: “I don’t have a magic wand, but I tried to rely on my convictions to guide them and support them as best I could. . »

Throughout the show, which was filmed over a year, we see him giving his wise advice to a couple of Moselle market gardeners, a bit overwhelmed, broke (they earn 300 euros per month) sold out, to develop a range of artisanal popcorn. Or to support a father and his 18-year-old son, who raise cows in Normandy but are struggling to pay off their debt and find funds to open a direct sales store: “Agriculture brings together many trades. Those who experience the most difficulties today are the stockbreeders. Their activity is today much decried by the vox populi, and in addition it generates very little profit, deplores the expert. My role was to help them diversify to provide them with additional income. »

Marie Portolano, a little tour and then leaves

Has the mission been accomplished for the sympathetic forty-year-old, who wishes, through the show, “to show all the complexity” of this sometimes misunderstood and unloved profession? We will have to wait for the epilogue ofLet’s help our farms for the knowledge. After a year of effort, the participating farmers are indeed taking stock with Marie Portolano, who is co-presenting the programme. One might be surprised by the absence of Karine Le Marchand, icon of televised rurality. Her fans can be reassured: she will soon present season 18 of Love is in the meadow, and is preparing a documentary on the evolution of agriculture in France, again for M6.

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In her absence, she is therefore the host of the Best Pastry Chef, 7 months pregnant at the start of filming, who put on her boots to collect the confidences of the two families of operators. And she did not deserve it. However, even if the program seduces the public and is seen to be perpetuated, Marie Portolano will not return to the farm. She was indeed recruited by France Télévisions to present Telematin, alongside Thomas Sotto, at the start of the school year. What about Patrice Cougoureux? “I would like to continue. I love meeting people, sharing… But if that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t matter. I never waited after that, it’s just a bonus. For him, and for those he helped!

* the Peyrouse farm, in Pradies, in the Tarn.

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