With farm visits on hold and LEAF Open Farm Sunday postponed to September, the organisers have announced they are running their very first LEAF Online Farm Sunday. On Sunday 7th June, farmers across the UK are being invited to share their world of farming across social media to connect the public with food production and the countryside virtually using #LOFS20.
Manager of LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS) Annabel Shackleton said: “We have such amazing support from across the farming industry and the public for LEAF Open Farm Sunday and we wanted to celebrate it and all those who get involved, albeit in a different way. It is sad that the on-farm events cannot run as usual, but this will be a great opportunity for even more farmers to get involved online. Also, families will be able to get an insight into a whole range of farming enterprises across Britain in one day, in a very accessible way.”
From 8am to 8pm farmers from Aberdeenshire to Jersey, and across all farming sectors, will be taking over the LOFS Facebook channel and hosting virtual tours showcasing what is involved in producing food, enhancing the environment, and some of the amazing science and technology involved. This virtual format allows for live interaction and questions from the public.
“We have an amazing fan-base of visitors who support LEAF Open Farm Sunday each year who are keen to keep in touch with what’s happening on farms,” said Mrs Shackleton. “We would love the farming community across the UK to post short film clips and images throughout the day on their own channels using the hashtag #LOFS20, and like and share posts to show the fabulous work that they are doing on their farms to keep the nation fed whilst managing our beautiful countryside. This will create a powerful, colourful kaleidoscope filled with the personalities and work of our agricultural industry.”
LEAF Education’s two-week long celebration of farming, Farming Fortnight, runs from 1st-12th June. Topic sheets, case studies and videos explore different farming sectors and support home educators with inspiring sessions around food and farming. Each day of the campaign has its own farming theme and accompanying social media hashtag – from arable farming #TractorTuesday to sheep #WoollyWednesday and #FutureFarming.
LEAF Open Farm Sunday 20th September
The plan is still for LEAF Open Farm Sunday to take place on the later date of Sunday 20th September. Mrs Shackleton said: “We are keeping a watching brief but we very much hope that farmers will be able to open their gates and share their farm with the public in September, even if on a smaller scale. The more farms that do this, the more we can share the crucial role farming plays in our society and economy. We recommend that farmers who organise an event use the LOFS free ticketing service so they can manage numbers and communicate any event changes to visitors.”