Farmers urged to engage with communities to teach people about food

PUBLISHED: 14:45 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 11 February 2019

Cambridgeshire farmer Michael Sly. Picture: NFU

Cambridgeshire farmer Michael Sly. Picture: NFU


A passionate advocate of public engagement in the countryside urged Norfolk farmers to take the opportunity to educate their communities about food.

Michael Sly, who farms at Thorney near Peterborough, spoke to Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society about the two-day Open Farm and Vintage Show he holds every June.

He started in 2006 with 12 people being taken around the farm in a Land Rover and has expanded annually to the point where he has now welcomed more than 53,000 people onto the farm since 2006.

He said the events are advertised on Facebook and now include field visits and animal demonstrations as well as a food hall, with all money raised going to local charities.

The society’s press secretary Luke Lockhart, said: “He encouraged his audience to become involved at any level to engage with their local community, as he has found there is great interest in what is going on in local farms and everybody from small children to adults love the big machinery.”

The society’s next meeting on March 5 at Ryston Park Golf Club, Downham Market features a talk by Tim Isaac, head of arable knowledge exchange at the AHDB.

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