In 1930, one farmer could feed 9.8 people. Today, on average, he or she now feeds 155 people. As it is the season to be jolly, I thought it would be fitting to write a blog entry on “Ten Reasons to Thank a Farmer”. The next time you are stuck behind a tractor on the road or make a statement about dairy farming which is not factual, reflect on all the good farmers do for our community.
- Putting food on your plate every day – There are many different definitions of farming, one that resonates is “The art of losing money while working 400 hours a month to feed people who think you are trying to kill them”. The goal post is changing all the time, making it harder to produce food that is increasing in demand.
- Employing over 400,000 people – From working on a farm as a spray operator to marketing new varieties of wheat, there is a job for everyone in agriculture!
- Welfare standards – The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world.
- Open Farm Sunday – Opening their doors once a year to the general public, Open Farm Sunday are committed to educating the public on what being a farmer entails and how our food is produced. 1,600 farmers are now engaged across the UK and a total of 2.2 million people have attended.
- Stepping up during Storm Emma – Clearing the roads so the public could get to work, farmers didn’t think twice about getting their hands dirty last year when storm Emma hit. With snow forecasts being reported in the near future, I am sure it won’t be the last time we all rely on a farmer!
- Maintaining roads and footpaths – The next time you go for a walk in the countryside, take a moment to think about who is keeping the footpaths across fields and hedges cut back from the road.
- Raising awareness for mental health, farm safety and LGBTQ+ in the countryside – No matter what way you turn, support is there for people in the industry. Whether it is a stand at a show or a post on Twitter, there are numerous organisations who encourage the conversations some may fear. Big thanks to Agrespect, Yellow Wellies and YANA who are just some of the organisations making this happen.
- Forage Aid – Supporting other farmers at a time of need, Forage Aid is a charity that provides light at the end of the tunnel providing forage or bedding for livestock affected by severe weather in the UK like Storm Emma.
- Young Farmers – Well known for throwing parties in a barn, there is more to YF than meets the eye. As one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK, there are now 615 clubs in England and Wales, they are passionate about working with local communities and raising money for charities each year.
- Finally, farming is one of the most dangerous jobs – Ranked number one on the HSE’s top 10 most dangerous jobs in the UK, farmers put their lives at risk every day from working from height to handling a 635kg bull.
Remember to #thankafarmer!