Farming is not always the best industry when it comes to self-promotion. Whether it is the natural reticence of some within the farming community or the desire to simply get on with the job in hand, the limelight is not always wanted or sought.
But there is a problem, and a growing one at that, and it comes in the form of the anti-farming lobby and the environmental extremists. Take, for example, the Go Vegan World advert (page 6) which seeks to turn people away from milk and attacks the industry with misleading images of cows looking as though they’re in some form of concentration camp.
The fact vegan propagandists are willing to ignore the high welfare standards should be expected as theirs is an ideological battle; the fact it appeared in the conservative Sunday Telegraph newspaper, among other outlets, must have caused utter dismay in many rural readers of the title.
So, whether we like it or not, we must be more vocal as an industry when it comes to flying the farming flag. We must also be more united as industry, which means moving away from the traditional fragmented approach which pitches one farming sector versus another and embrace a joined up approach.
Social media is a good place to start and many high profile farming Tweeters take to the site everyday to promote what the industry is doing. If social media and the internet are not your thing then maybe a farm visit or talk to a school or community group could be the next step. Events such as Open Farm Sunday, which will this year be taking place on June 11, have helped bridge the gap between town and country for years.
The promotional power lies in our hands as no one else understands the industry like those working in it every day. Now is the time to make farming’s voice heard.
24 Hours in Farming is back for 2017 and it will be bigger and better than ever. Supported by Morrisons, put August 10 in your diary.