Farmers urged to highlight vital role

Farmers across Scotland are being urged to open their gates to the public for next years Open Farm Sunday on June 11. Organisers LEAF are keen to see more farms taking part.
Farmers across Scotland are being urged to open their gates to the public for next years Open Farm Sunday on June 11. Organisers LEAF are keen to see more farms taking part.

Farmers across Scotland are being urged to open their gates and welcome the public to showcase their achievements and the goods and services they deliver.

Registration for next year’s Open Farm Sunday has begun and organisers Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) are emphasising the importance of highlighting farmers’ roles in delivering a wide range of public goods, beyond food production.

As the sector is working to determine what a post-referendum farming industry is going to look like, LEAF says there has never been a more critical time to demonstrate its vital contribution including managing the countryside, its wildlife and natural resources.

With increasing interest and support for Open Farm Sunday, Rebecca Dawes, Scottish co-ordinator, is keen that more farmers get involved.

She said: “Open Farm Sunday is fully flexible so that farms of every size and type get involved, whether you host a private farm tour for an invited audience or an open event. For those with farm diversifications it is a great way to boost the profile of a business and help increase sales.”

“On June 11 farmers in Scotland have an opportunity to tell the public how proud they are to rear their livestock, grow their crops and protect the environment – something as an industry we often shy away from. “By embracing the support that is on offer from LEAF, this one-day event helps build the public’s trust and understanding about food and farming so they can fully value the food they eat and the work farmers do.”

To help more farmers host an event, LEAF is developing a new programme of OFS Bitesize webinars, blogs and case studies to give farmers the knowledge, ideas and confidence to invite the public onto their farm. A team of Open Farm Sunday co-ordinators and LEAF staff is on hand for support, and a dedicated Scottish webinar has been scheduled for February 28.

Further information on how to get involved or to register a LEAF Open Farm Sunday event is available at www.farmsunday.org or contact Rebecca Dawes on 07792 467730, ofsrc.scotland@gmail.com

To keep up to date on Twitter follow @OpenFarmSunday, @LEAF_Farming