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Open Farm information event

FARMERS ACROSS Scotland who would like to show off their farm to the public have been invited to a free information event in Dingwall.

Open Farm Sunday takes place on June 9 and will see farmers all over the country engage with the public and answer questions they have about food production.

Farmers interested in taking part are being urged to attend a free information event held at Dingwall and Highland Auction Mart, Bailchaul Road, Dingwall on February 20.

With consumers' interest in the provenance of their food continuing to rise, Open Farm Sunday is an opportunity for farmers to really engage with the public, tell their story of what they do to produce great food and help challenge misconceptions. This is why Open Farm Sunday organiser LEAF - Linking Environment And Farming, is encouraging more farmers than ever before in Scotland to get involved.

The information events will inspire and enthuse host farmers throughout the region, with new ideas on how to put on a great Open Farm Sunday event, equip them with the latest health and safety information as well as share ideas and experiences with other host farmers. Booking is essential. For full details on the events or to register your Open Farm Sunday event please visit www.farmsunday.org. As well as the information events, LEAF also offers a huge range of free resources to help farmers put on interesting and engaging events. Research from LEAF shows that many farmers report real business benefits from opening on open Farm Sunday. These can include: sharing knowledge; increased sales; improved staff morale; team building, and the development of new skills.

Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive said: "We are looking for farms of every shape, size and type to take part. Open Farm Sunday events do not need to be huge – a simple guided farm walk for friends and neighbours can have a huge impact. The theme for 2013 is discover the story behind your food. It's an important message as we know that many consumers are not connected with food and farming – even people who live in rural areas. We are encouraging many more farms to open in June so we can really extend the reach of Open Farm Sunday which will benefit the farming industry as a whole. However the benefits for host farmers are much wider than that."

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