Frame the narrative – direct the action – Be the hero

  • The organisers of Open Farm Sunday (OFS), LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), are supporting farms of all sizes with advice and free resources to showcase British farming on 9th June 2024

Now in its 18th year, the industry’s annual open day provides an opportunity for every farmer to put their stories centre stage and promote a positive image of the industry.

Annabel Shackleton, OFS Manager, says welcoming visitors on farm doesn’t have to be complicated:

“It’s a misconception that you need a blockbuster budget and an army of volunteers to host an event – that’s not the case. There is real scope to develop an Open Farm Sunday format that works for you and allows you to build your confidence by starting small.

“We’d really like to encourage more farmers to dip their toes in the water. Putting on community-focussed farm walks for smaller groups gives you a chance to trial Open Farm Sunday in a way that’s manageable and fun for all.

The Open Farm Sunday Handbook provides a step-by-step guide to hosting different types of events, with practical guidance on controlling visitor numbers through to risk assessments. Farms that register can also order free resources, produced by LEAF and OFS sponsors such as posters, signage, gate banners, ‘ask me’ badges and give-aways for children.

From hedgerows and habitats within the landscape, to soil health and biodiversity (just to name a few) there are plenty of topics and activities to engage and inspire visitors.

LEAF research shows that 62% of last year’s visitors reported they wanted to hear more farming stories.

“We know that most farmers don’t consider themselves ‘heroes’, however Open Farm Sunday provides a fantastic opportunity to communicate your achievements, high standards and commitment to sustainability,” adds Mrs Shackleton.

“Energy and enthusiasm are the two most important factors for delivering a fun and memorable day.   One in five visitors have never visited a farm before so what you consider ‘every day’ activities, are fascinating and a whole new world to most people.”

Visit the OFS website to find out more about putting on an OFS event and the support available.

Related news:

LEAF Open Farm Sunday drives consumer understanding and support for British agriculture.