'Help build public trust in farming': Open letter urges involvement in Open Farm Sunday

The main aim of the event is to encourage farmers to enagage with the public (Photo: Open Farm Sunday 2015, Oxfordshire)
The main aim of the event is to encourage farmers to enagage with the public (Photo: Open Farm Sunday 2015, Oxfordshire)

Farmers are being urged to open their gates for this year’s Open Farm Sunday on 11th June and 'proudly show the public all that you achieve and the breadth of goods and services you deliver.'

As the sector is working to determine what a post-referendum farming industry is going to look like, farmers are keen to demonstrate the vital role they play in delivering a wide range of public goods, beyond food production.

Caroline Drummond MBE, Chief Executive of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), has wrote an open letter encouraging involvement in this year’s Open Farm Sunday.

Ms Drummond said: “As we prepare to leave the European Union, it is clear that the farming sector will be greatly impacted by this change.

“Smart, practical and reasoned approaches will be vital as we draw up a new UK Food, Farming and Environment Policy. Equally important is the support of those that need farming most - the public.

“Strong public support will lead to market demand, fairer prices and favourable government policy. Which is why, never before has it been so important to showcase farming’s vital role in growing our food, contributing to the economy, managing the countryside and enhancing our natural resources.

Engaging with the public

LEAF's Open Farm Sunday's mission is to enable farmers to come together to make their case and provide an effective way of engaging with the public.

Ms Drummond continued: “Over a quarter of a million people annually now visit a farm on what is recognised as the industry's open day. The day helps visitors understand the breadth, skills and diversity of the farming industry and how it impacts on all our lives.

“Research shows it is having a huge impact on changing people’s perceptions of our industry.

“I am urging all farmers to take part this year either by staging their own event or helping a neighbour. Open Farm Sunday is for everyone. Size is not important, whilst some farmers hold large open days, many events are a small private farm walk for an invited audience. Large or small, EVERY event matters.

“Open Farm Sunday is our chance to showcase the pride we all feel in our farming industry and all that it delivers.”