Agriculture needs more farmers to share the story of farming with the public, says LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), the organisers of this weekend’s LEAF Open Farm Sunday.
Over 250,000 people are expected to visit a farm on Sunday 10th June as over 350 farms across the UK prepare to open their gates to the public for the industry’s annual open day. LEAF is calling on farmers who have not hosted before to visit an open farm to see how it can be done, with a view to opening their own farm next year.
Annabel Shackleton, LEAF Open Farm Sunday Manager, says: “At a time when we particularly need the public to understand and value all that farmers deliver, we are urging farmers who haven’t yet hosted an event to visit a farm this Sunday, to see what it’s all about and get inspired to take part next year. LEAF Open Farm Sunday has proved an unbeatable way to engage with the public and share important messages, and we want more farmers and visitors to benefit from its success.”
LEAF Open Farm Sunday is making a huge impact in driving forwarding public awareness and support of for the UK agricultural industry. Since the campaign first started in 2006, more than 1600 farms have opened their gates welcoming in total over two million visitors. Last year, 91% percent of visitors said they were more appreciative of the work farmers do and one in five had never visited a farm before.
Colin Dawes, a regular LEAF Open Farm Sunday host farmer, says: “For farmers considering organising an event next year, I would highly recommend going to see an open farm this weekend – whether as a visitor or volunteer. It is a great way to pick up ideas and inspiration to run your own event next year. I was one of the first farmers to take part in 2006 and I continue to be involved as the day is so rewarding. The feedback from visitors is always positive and it’s such an effective way to market our industry.”