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Professor John Martin

John Martin profile picture
Visiting Professor, Museum of English Rural Life

Areas of interest

Expert in the history of global food security, food and farming, with particular reference to the development of modern agriculture since the second world war. 

Professional bodies/affiliations

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Selected publications

  • 2022, Digging for Victory, BBC History Magazine.
  • 2020, co-editor and contributor special edition of Global Environment: A Journal of Transdisciplinary History Reconfiguring Nature. Resource Security and the Limits of Expert Knowledge.
  • 2016, Joint authored 16,000-word article ‘The loss of livestock, the issue of fodder supply: the impact of the 1962-3 winter’, Agricultural History Review, 64, 2016.
  • 2016, ‘Agricultural Specialisation in Britain’ in A. Antoine, Agricultural Specialisation (Turnout, 2016).
  • 2016, British Agriculture in Transition Food Shortages to Food Surpluses (1947-57), in C. Martiin et. al., From Food Shortages to Food Surpluses: Agriculture in Capitalist Europe (Ashgate, 2016).
  • 2015, ‘The International Crisis of the mid-1970s: the Neglected Agrarian Dimension’, in A.T. Brown, et. al. (eds.), Crises in Economic and Social History: a comparative perspective (Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2015).
  • 2013, ‘Rex Paterson (1903-1978); pioneer of grassland dairy farming and agricultural innovator’ in R. Hoyle, The Farmer in England 1650-1980 (Ashgate, 2013).
  • 2011, ‘Game Shooting in Transition 1900-1945’, Agricultural History, 85, 2 (Spring 2011).
  • 2010, ‘The Wild Rabbit: Plague; Polices and Pestilence 1931-55’, Agricultural History Review, 5, 11
  • 2007, ‘George Odlum, the Ministry of Agriculture and ‘Farmer Hudson’, Agricultural History Review, 55, 2 (2007). 


Professor John Martin is series consultant and contributor for the BBC’s eight-part living history Wartime Farm series, produced by LionTV. This is an historical, observational documentary covering eight one-hour episodes, focusing on how farmers were affected by the state-directed food production campaign in the second world war.

He has also acted as the consultant and contributor to the BBC’s six-part Tudor Monastery Farm and Full Steam Ahead series, and ITV’s Home Fires series.

He is a member of the British Library Advisory Panel for the project ‘An Oral History of Farming, Land Management and Conservation in Post-War Britain’. As the biggest oral history project on British farming and rural land use for decades, the project is recording in-depth biographical interviews with farmers, landowners, scientists, and policymakers who have been central to the transformation of agriculture since the second world war.

He is a member of the Executive Committee of the British Agricultural History Society.


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