THERE WAS a collective sigh of relief from the industry this week when there was no announcement in the Budget about the removal of the fuel tax rebate that industry, including farming, uses to deliver services for the nation as a whole.

So, for farming, it was a fairly benign Budget – but that does not mean to say that the heavily leaked 'fact' that red diesel might still be on a hit list for subsequent Budgets, including another mini one expected for the autumn. But it would appear that we have been 'primed' by the Treasury!

It's increasingly evident that governments – in Holyrood and Westminster – are becoming every more savvy as to the manipulative power of social meeja. And they are putting it to full use, so there would have been no doubt left to the Mandarins of power that the farming industry would not have taken kindly to any tinkering with the rebate on red diesel.

However, the hint is there for the industry to get its own house in order and use the power of accessibility afforded by social media channels, e-mail and on-line 'surveys' to pump prime political thinking too. One case in point where young people might want to make their votes, sorry voice expressed was in the call for more input from Generation Z (whatever that is?) to help shape Scotland's strategy for the way that land is owned and used.

The Scottish Land Commission wants the views of young people and how to deliver a fair, inclusive and valuable system of land ownership for 'the greater benefit of Scotland’s people'. The hint is there for young farmers who take an interest in agri-affairs to take part in this survey – and not just leave it to the desktop warrior brigade who might like to have exclusivity to their opinions.

We are all too ready to let other people take up the cudgels on the farming industry's behalf. Maybe it is time to entertain the notion that there might be a way of influencing political decision-making and thus national strategies and make sure that more foxes are not let loose in the hen house? However, we must also accept that this requires dedication and no little technological nous.

The fact is, if we want to beat the keyboard activists that increasingly shape people's thinking and appear to lead politicians by the nose, then we all have to do our bit to ensure that there are rational, even radical, free thinkers within the industry that might just know what they are talking about.

So, let your voice be heard above the clamour. There are many such 'consultations' going on by ScotGov and if the end results don't go your way – when they eventually do make their tortuous way through the political processes – then don't blame anyone else. The Scottish Land Commission online survey is open to anyone to take part in at