FARMERS are being urged to stand up and speak out for UK farming as society enters a new era where farming practices will be increasingly scrutinised in the public eye.

In preparation, Linking Environment and Sustainable farming (LEAF) has launched a new communications roadshow which will aim to equip farmers with the necessary tools to communicate to the public about the UK farming industry and what it delivers.

The organisation has arranged for the roadshow to visit 10 locations across the UK during April and May, delivering its ‘Speak Out’ workshops. The one-day practical masterclasses will provide farmers and researchers with front line access to the skills, techniques and tools to become expert communicators – whether in person, on-farm, online, in print or in the media through photos, film and social media. The roadshow comes to Scotland on May 2, at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee.

“With Brexit looming, we need to start clear and meaningful conversations about UK agriculture, as well as share best practice, show techniques, explain production, reveal trade-offs faced and demonstrate where farming creates environmental sustainability,” said LEAF chief executive, Caroline Drummond. “A key part of the Government’s new Agriculture Bill will see farmers being rewarded for the range of goods and services they deliver beyond food production – be that productive soils, clean water and air, increased biodiversity right through to public access.

"Public support for British farming will be key as we navigate this new political landscape, underpinned by clear, professional and strong communication.”

Demonstration and Innovation manager at LEAF, Alice Midmer, added: “Farmers have a fantastic story to tell and are acutely aware of the need to speak out for their industry. What they need is the right skills and know-how to do the job effectively. We are extremely excited to be travelling the country with our Speak Out Roadshow and are really looking forward to connecting with farmers and researchers to inspire, inform and reignite their enthusiasm for communication.

“Whether they are starting from scratch or have years of experience in talking about farming, these workshops will enable everyone to build their expertise, bolster their confidence and be the best they can be – no matter where they are starting from,” she continued.

Accompanying the roadshow, LEAF will launch their new 'online communications toolkit', which has been fed into by agricultural communications experts, and is packed full of easy-to-use guidance and resources, providing step by step support for farmers and researchers, helping them think about communications at every stage and providing guidance on best practice.

LEAF’s Speak Out Toolkit will be available at

LEAF’s Speak Out Roadshow dates and venues are :-

Wednesday April 24 - Overbury Enterprises, Tewksbury, Gloucestershire;

Thursday April 25 - Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon;

Friday April 26 - Henfaes Research Centre, Bangor University, Llanfairfechan;

Tuesday April 30 - JSR Farms, Southburn, Yorkshire;

Wednesday May 1 - Renner Farming, Belford, Northumberland;

Thursday May 2 - James Hutton Institute, Dundee, Scotland;

Tuesday May 7 - Crowmarsh Battle Farm, Oxfordshire;

Wednesday May 8 - The Allerton Project, Loddington, Leicestershire;

Thursday May 9 - E W Davies, Thaxted, Essex;

Friday May 10 - Holkham Farming, Holkham, Norfolk.

The cost to attend each workshop is £30 for LEAF Members and £80 for non-LEAF members. To book online, visit

The Brian Chambers Soils Fund is offering funding to ten early career professionals and practitioners. The funding will cover the cost of the training and a contribution towards travel and subsistence. Applicants are encouraged to email a short CV to to apply for this. Please also include details of the training course you would like to attend and an estimation of your travel and subsistence costs.