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Young Farmer Focus: Katie Fallon - 'Farming is not singularly a threat to the planet'

Katie Fallon, 21, lives on the family upland livestock farm running a 100-plus commercial suckler herd alongside 600 breeding Mule and Texel ewes.

Education: In light of the BBC documentary ‘Meat: a threat to our planet?’ I was shocked and disappointed at the biased coverage of our global farming community and the lack of support for our own British farmers.

 

Yes, things need to change. We are aware of this now more than ever.

 

Ultimately, we are the first generation to understand the problem facing our planet, but the last ones to do anything about it.

 

But for our industry to be tarred with the same brush as some of the most intensive agricultural practices globally is inexcusable.

 

The UK is one of the most sustainable climates in the world in which to produce red meat, yet this was not acknowledged at all by the BBC.

 

This was an unforgivable misuse of an opportunity to promote British agriculture.


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Benefits: Grazing livestock supports biodiversity; contributing to the management of our unique British countryside.

 

Without grazing livestock in the UK, 60 per cent of our agricultural land would be removed from food production as it is simply not suitable for cropping.

 

UK agriculture accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s carbon emissions, whereas transport and energy collectively account for 51 per cent.

 

So, let me ask the BBC how many flights and car journeys were taken to film this documentary? Or how much electricity was used to produce it?

 

So why am I sat here writing this, trying to defend our farmers? Because of broadcasting corporations such as the BBC, a corporation we look up to; that is engrained in our heritage and is a symbol of our nation.

 

Yet it is becoming an increasingly biased organisation, which was brought to the forefront the moment this documentary was aired.

 

Future: As a young person entering the industry, I am excited about the future of agriculture and the amazing opportunities which lie in store.

 

But what encouragement do we have to strive in this industry when our own nation is not even supporting us?

 

It is more important than ever that we have new minds entering agriculture and that we support them.

 

We need to shout about the good we are doing, not lie back and take the misinformation – and at times abuse – that is being circulated.

 

We need to stand up for ourselves; the farming industry is not singularly a threat to the planet. We all need to work together, for our futures and for this planet’s future.

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