Farmers Urged to Speak Out for UK Farming

LEAF launches new communications training workshops for farmers and researchers.

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With continuing political uncertainty, there has never been a more important time for farmers to communicate to the public about the British farming industry and all it delivers. Leading sustainable farming organisation, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) is spearheading a new communications roadshow to equip farmers with the skills and know-how to do just this.

During April and May, the organisation will be travelling to ten locations across the UK with its Speak Out Roadshow communications workshops. The one-day practical masterclasses will provide farmers and researchers with front line access to the skills, techniques and tools to become expert communicators – whether in person, on-farm, online, in print or in the media through photos, film and social media.

Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive, said: “With Brexit looming, we need to start clear and meaningful conversations about UK agriculture, as well as share best practice, show techniques, explain production, reveal trade-offs faced and demonstrate where farming creates environmental sustainability. A key part of the Government’s new Agriculture Bill will see farmers being rewarded for the range of goods and services they deliver beyond food production – be that productive soils, clean water and air, increased biodiversity right through to public access. Public support for British farming will be key as we navigate this new political landscape, underpinned by clear, professional and strong communication.”

Alice Midmer, Demonstration and Innovation Manager at LEAF added: “Farmers have a fantastic story to tell and are acutely aware of the need to speak out for their industry. What they need is the right skills and know-how to do the job effectively. We are extremely excited to be travelling the country with our Speak Out Roadshow and are really looking forward to connecting with farmers and researchers to inspire, inform and reignite their enthusiasm for communication. Whether they are starting from scratch or have years of experience in talking about farming, these workshops will enable everyone to build their expertise, bolster their confidence and be the best they can be – no matter where they are starting from.”

LEAF’s new online communications toolkit will be launched during the Roadshow. Written and developed by leading agricultural communications experts, it is packed full of easy-to-use guidance and resources, providing step by step support for farmers and researchers, helping them think about communications at every stage and providing guidance on best practice. It offers a range of interactive tools, templates and support materials to help develop communications skills, craft messages, map audiences and address their individual needs. LEAF’s Speak Out Toolkit will be available at leaf.eco/speakout

LEAF’s Speak Out Roadshow dates and venues:

Wednesday 24thApril - Overbury Enterprises, Tewksbury, Gloucestershire

Thursday 25th April - Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon

Friday 26th April - Henfaes Research Centre, Bangor University, Llanfairfechan

Tuesday 30th April - JSR Farms, Southburn, Yorkshire

Wednesday 1st May - Renner Farming, Belford, Northumberland

Thursday 2nd May - James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Scotland

Tuesday 7th May - Crowmarsh Battle Farm, Oxfordshire

Wednesday 8th May - The Allerton Project, Loddington, Leicestershire

Thursday 9th May - E W Davies, Thaxted, Essex

Friday 10th May - Holkham Farming, Holkham, Norfolk

The cost to attend each workshop is £30 for LEAF Members and £80 for non-LEAF members. To book online, please visit https://leaf.eco/news-and-media/events/leaf-speak-out-roadshow-2019.

The Brian Chambers Soils Fund are able to offer funding to ten early career professionals and practitioners. The funding will cover the cost of the training and a contribution towards travel and subsistence. Please email a short CV to [email protected] to apply for this. Please also include details of the training course you would like to attend and an estimation of your travel and subsistence costs. Brian was an excellent communicator of agricultural and environmental science and its relevance to farmers, policy makers and industry. The Brian Chambers Soils Fund is therefore keen to invest in early career farmers, advisers and scientists to enhance their contribution to the sector through better communication.

Click here to view the full press release.