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A letter to the BBC: 'Why would you completely fail to highlight British farming systems?'

Aired on November 25, 2019, was an extremely misleading, detrimental documentary - sentenced to a biased opinion of negativity towards agricultural production - ’Meat: A threat to our planet?’

Mikayla-Mae Glover (Image: Caitlin Poole Photography)
Mikayla-Mae Glover (Image: Caitlin Poole Photography)

As a seventh generation farmer, my family have fought for many years to maintain the highest quality produce possible.


At 18, I have grown up around the understanding of countryside management and animal welfare.


Farming is all I have ever known and, if I thought for one minute that I was participating in the downfall of our planet, then I would refuse to be a part of such a movement.


I ask a question as to why a British broadcasting service would completely fail to highlight British farming systems.


International systems may be far from perfect, however, I assure you British farmers are working with all they have to enable a safer chain of production - whether it be beef, arable or organic.


My hope for a continued career in agriculture has now been shattered.


I fear with the misleading, biased opinions aimed towards farming, farmers will now not only have to fight for our rights to be heard, but fight against our own race who have chosen to believe that we are essentially the whole reason as to why our planet is breaking down.


With all the scientific statistics shared aiming towards the damages international farming production may cause, there appeared to be no mention in regards to how agricultural jobs are helping to maintain our economy.


Or the realistic routine of a British farmer, who will work 365 days of the year in order to look after their livelihoods and keep the pride within the animals they are raising/crops they are growing.

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I assume that while travelling to multiple places abroad to film, the attention was not turned to the carbon dioxide in which the aircrafts boarded may have released into our atmosphere.


The consumption of red meat is considered a balanced, healthy diet by the greatest of scientists and I fail to see how promoting veganism is going to help reverse any damage caused to our atmosphere.


Plant production can be just as much intense as any other form of farming.


It’s a medical fact that red meat helps humans to maintain a healthy level of iron.


So what about the pressures currently surrounding the NHS trying to provide supplements, procedures and planning dietary changes to replenish what’s lost from not carrying enough iron within our bodies?


At the point of one blood transfusion costing the NHS roughly £635, I disagree that our attention is now turning to the production of such a necessary form of produce.


I’m incredibly disheartened that farming has been portrayed in such a low light.


I am starting to question whether more needs to be done to properly educate the generations to come so that they understand the vital role which agriculture plays to our society.


If agriculture is not a worthy enough industry for our society to fight for then why would it have been necessary for farmers to produce throughout history?


The answer is simple; because it kept our people and soldiers alive and still does to this day. Without our vital produce, we would not be here today.


Job creation is a forever challenging concept for our modern day reality.


British agriculture helps towards employment through multiple diverse sectors such as; haulage, estate management, countryside management, organic production, machinery producers, agronomy, business management and many more.


It also has a significant impact on higher education. Harper Adams obtains the second highest employment score of any educational establishment in the country. Need I say more.


The question should not be: ‘Is meat a threat to our planet?’, the question should be ‘is agriculture and British produce being completely misunderstood’?


I believe in order to resolve the negative impact this one hour film has made, a further documentary needs to be made highlighting the views from British farmers.


Maybe then the right messages, facts and attitudes can be publicised.


I may not have much of a voice as I scribe through a keypad, however, I know I share an important voice on behalf of every single British farmer going about their responsibilities day-by-day.


As a community of hard workers, we will continue to stand up for our passion and refuse to be dampened by the spirits of those who wish to believe we are bad people.


As an industry we are yet to be given the chance to showcase our importance to this world.


Farming may have been born into my blood, but so was the confidence to stand up for what I believe in and speak the truth strongly.