Sir, – Jim McGugan makes a good point in his letter (The SF, November 25) that 'farming and food production should be high, if not top, of the collective awareness of our people.'

Okay, so why is this not the case? Why are there any amount of food preparation magazines and gardening magazines on paper racks, umpteen more house and home improvement magazines yet rarely a The SF to be seen?

Simple answer: Millions have gardens, millions more, though never enough, have homes and in most of these food is prepared, while merely thousands have a farm or food production business.

I doubt if many living in a high rise building buy gardening magazines, or the The SF for that matter.  Equally, I doubt if many without a home buy a home improvement magazine – or The SF for that matter. In fact, few other than a large proportion of our farmers buy The SF or other such sources of food production information.

Get the picture? Our farming industry would be high in the public conscience if we had more, many more farmers. It is that simple! 

Yet, collectively, farmers themselves have fought relentlessly, subconsciously even, to exclude the public from active farming.You must expand to survive has been the mantra for as long as I can recall. Such thinking is nonsense! 

You must do more and better to survive, but never at the expense of your neighbour. Make no mistake, the whole rural economy depends on them, as much as on you. 

Land-grabbing greed has no place in a thriving Scottish rural economy. Witness the loss of rural services – many shops, post offices, garages, and pubs have closed, while the remainder struggle to survive.

A century ago, it was probable that virtually everyone in Scotland could relate personally to a particular part of rural Scotland and farming there.  Now, some are trying desperately to show today's kids where farm produce comes from. 

Aye, so long as they don't get too close and fancy becoming a farmer! Give us a break! Do ourselves a favour ... give them a break!

Tom Gray

West Park,