WHOEVER coined the phrase a 'dog's Brexit' last year couldn't have known just how true it was going to be.

The only certainty we have is that deal or no deal, it's not going to be an easy road that the UK farming industry will have to tread. Whatever happens, change is inevitable and it is definitely going to be more difficult to trade with the 500m-or-so customer base that the confines of the EU offers because there doesn't appear to be a legion of other countries lining up to take our agricultural goods ­– in fact, the legions are intent on sending us theirs at any price.

The UK farming industry at the moment can be likened to many of the lambs which found themselves out in the wintry blast which hit us this mid-week. It is struggling to find its feet, while the cruel beaks of the hoodie politicians circle, waiting to pick off the tasty bits!

Even if this 'sickly lamb' survives the weather, there's joint-ill (French dockyards); pasteurella (a slow painful death by political ennui) and then, the dreaded red tape worm to contend with. It's going to be a long road towards a settled market for this little lamb.

Therefore, if we are being forced to say 'ta-ta' to the Continent, then the industry has to help itself by encouraging its home-based customers to support it. That starts with education and we must embrace as many ways of reaching out to the Great British Public (GBP) as we can.

That means the role of the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) must be supported and then there's the very public way in which Open Farm Sunday offers (see page 36 for just how easy it is and how beneficial it can be). Such interaction with the GBP has never been more important to an industry which is apparently impotent to counter the downright lies that is being peddled in all walks of life and on-line by single-interest parties who would rather import almond 'juice' from half-way around the world, to consuming a real milk product produced within a few miles of their doorstep.

It's important to get across that food miles do matter; that proper and balanced nutrition is the way forward for everyone and which our agricultural industry can help supply; and that seasonality of produce can be acceptable and worthy of support.

There is a tendency for the industry to sit back and think that someone else will do their talking for them. But the time has come for many more to stand up for their industry and say why the are 'proud to be a farmer'.

It's time for a collective effort to stem the tide of anti-farming – so don't be like King Canute. Help the industry and yourself by taking part – you never know, you may enjoy it. And, if you cannot do it on your own farm, then help out with someone who is.

It will be a long journey. But every long trek starts with just one step ...