THE UFU are calling on local farmers and food businesses to get behind Open Farm Weekend, which will take place on the 15th -16th June 2013. We are asking farms to open their gates to let the public explore the story behind local food and its link to nature. We are hoping to build on the success of the 2012 event which saw over 5,000 people visiting participating farms.
Barclay Bell, Deputy President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) said: “The whole aim of this family weekend is to highlight what happens behind the scenes at local farms and the important role they play in the food supply chain. Open Farm Weekend will give farmers a chance to tell their individual story as well as building relationships with people in their area and developing a sense of pride among employees.”
The announcement this week that the agri-food sector is now worth over £4billion pounds to the local economy confirms the strength of the industry.
Barclay Bell continues: “We have an industry to be proud of and there is no better time to put the spotlight on local farming to let people learn about the hard work of farmers. We want to encourage farmers and food businesses alike to grasp the opportunity of communicating how all elements of the supply chain works together to create such a thriving industry.
“Last year the passion and commitment about the work farmers do was clearly evident on all participating farms and I commend those involved for making the 2012 event such a huge success. Feedback from visitors was very positive and they left farms with a greater understanding of local food production, modern farming methods and some of the challenges facing industry.”
Farmers can make their event as interactive, fun and educational as they wish, from children’s activities to guided tours, petting farms to farm shops. Support and resources will be available to all participating farmers and farms from all locations and backgrounds are encouraged to get involved.”
For more information on opening your gates to the general public this June contact Lindsay Lyttle on 028 9024 9449 or visit www.openfarmweekend.com.
Open Farm Weekend is being delivered by the Ulster Farmers’ Union and is supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Bank of Ireland UK and NFU Mutual.