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My Farming Week - Rachel Lumley, Cumbria

Rachel Lumley farms in partnership with her sister Alice and parents Kenneth and Jennifer between two main holdings in Northumberland and Cumbria. She campaigns to raise the profile of British sheep farmers.
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Rachel Lumley
Rachel Lumley

Campaigning: The Love British Lamb campaign has always been about much more than one week in September, and although it really is just three words anyone can say, with technology and the strength of social media, it is becoming clear many people saying the same few words can be very powerful.

 

We had great feedback from Love Lamb Week, but people kept saying ‘keep up the good work’.

 

It took a while to decide on the best way forward, but hopefully we have come up trumps with the new 365 project.

 

New project: Love British Lamb 365 aims to show we are all out there, farming #Sheep365 in order to produce great British Lamb.

 

With daily early morning posts, the emphasis is on best use of Twitter’s potential to reach out to people beyond the farming community and use of #Sheep365 and #Lovelamb to paint the real farm-to-fork picture.

 

There is still no budget and time is limited, but as more and more people get involved, the campaign really is gaining substantial momentum.

 

There is a saying ‘out of adversity comes opportunity’ and I really feel this has been the case. Had the season not been so bad and Welsh farmers had not started #NoLambWeek, I would never have considered starting such a campaign. I am proud of what we have achieved.

 

Support: The reason Love British Lamb continues to go from strength to strength is because there are so many people coming on board, helping in many different ways and providing content and new ideas. Buy British is the simplest and clearest of messages and the one we all want to shout from the hills.

 

Levy: I believe it is wrong not one British pound of the £57 million collected in AHDB levies can go towards directly promoting our produce and think we all need to challenge why this has simply been accepted.

 

The 365 concept was thanks partly to #Sheep365 tweets from NSA Next Generation ambassadors Thomas Gibson and Andrew Prentice, but also a #Sheep365 photography project by an American sheep farmer, Dan Macon, who keeps a fantastic blog via @FlyingMuleFarm.

 

More recently, Cumbrian shepherdess Hannah Jackson is becoming more involved and is doing a great job of keeping the Twitter feed updated.

 

Next week, we will have our first Welsh ambassador as we always try to keep an even balance between the four nations.

 

We are having discussions with levy boards and industry bodies and hope there are some fantastic developments to come next year, but as with anything, changes will not happen overnight.

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