Farmers need help telling their story, says Minette Batters

Agriculture-based conferences usually have a bright spark on the Question Time panel.

At this year’s NFU conference it was One Show presenter Jay Rainer who threw a hand towards the audience and reiterated the mantra: “You farmers are the ones to sell your industry, you need to get out there and do it”. The audience muttered approval and yes it’s all good empowering stuff. Except, it’s just not that easy. Sadly bad news sells and good news costs money to sell.

A similar story applies to British meat buying supermarket chain Morrisons. In a recent Ladies in Beef meeting they said they worked so hard on getting footfall through stores that often their great British story wasn’t told. Jay Rainer could of course choose to help, by inviting a young farmer on to the show to champion food and farming.

Harrowing and rolling are all completed and grass is beginning to grow. Water levels are well down which is a concern because looking at the long-range weather forecast, we look set for another dry spring. We have enough silage to see us into April, so I’m hoping I won’t have to buy in extra fodder.

This week it was an honour to have a guided tour of Tedworth House. It’s been fully restored by Help for Heroes to provide fantastic facilities for our injured troops. Young men who have lost limbs, their brotherhood and for many, their reason for being. As Hannah, our guide, said: “You don’t ever have a bad day working here”.

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