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Abi Reader: 'Every positive or factual image is a blow in the face of the anti-farming brigade’

This week I have attended the Bayer-Leaf Education Awards lunch as a guest.

I had the privilege to meet some of the fantastic farmers determined to make positive change happen for the industry by telling their stories.

 

I also met with some of the agricultural companies willing to support any such initiatives.

Climate change criticism, veganism, even the hated B-word, are all dragging us down right now.

 

The anti farming brigade voice is loud.

 

What I learned at the conference was never to forget that how people connect with us farmers today will determine how they impact on us in the future.

 

Statements like this always make me look at myself to ask what more can be done.

 

My recent on-farm problems with bovine TB have driven me to turn to social media to tell my story to the outside world, who I often feel only have a passing interest in farming and food production.

 

It is an attempt to reach out and show people what bTB means to people like me, because so often they only see the ‘other’ version.


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I also use social media, be it twitter, Facebook or Instagram, to tell the everyday farming story.

 

The everyday story nearly always needs to be happy, positive, lively, or funny.

 

It also needs to be honest, and sometimes factual.

 

Photos are usually the most effective tool to use, many do not even need words.

 

I am always conscious who might see or read my messages so I commit to only putting up content if I would be happy for my god-daughter, who is seven, to see it.

 

The reason I am labouring on this point is because we need more storytellers now.

 

And these stories must come straight from the heart, proper farm life stories.

 

We need people to see how our crops and livestock shape our lives, why we work from dusk til dawn, who works with us and why we care so much for what we do.

 

Every positive or factual image is a blow in the face of the anti farming brigade, every blow will leave a mark.

 

So if you are reading this and you are on any social media platform, then before the day is out, post a photo of your best moment, your favourite scene, your happy place, anything.

 

And tomorrow do it again, and do not stop. We all have a part to play.

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