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Open Farm Sunday

Is there a guide to help farmers opening for Open Farm Sunday or Open Farm School Days?

Yes, on registering your event you will be sent a handbook that has lots of useful information to help you organise a successful Open Farm Sunday or Open Farm School Days visit and covers everything from promoting your event to collecting feedback.  It also has a template risk assessment and lots of top tips on how to ensure your event is engaging and safe.

How should I prepare for my event?

Plan your route by taking account of interests and needs of your visitors, time available, distance, weather. Put signs up at the entrance, for parking, toilets etc. and if possible have ‘give-aways’ ready – farm facts, leaflets, stickers, maps. If you operate guided tours or trailer rides, put a sign up saying where the activities will start from and when… good communication with visitors helps them find their way.

What if the weather is bad?

Have a Plan B for bad weather but don’t let it ruin your day. Inevitably rain especially, or cold, will mean that fewer people will come and you will almost certainly need less parking, less help and fewer refreshments. However you can lessen the impact of bad weather by stressing towards the end of your publicity material that (assuming this is the case) there is still plenty to see and do indoors, that attractions will be moved to the barn etc. Suggest people come in boots, stout shoes or wellies and bring a jacket if the weather is poor. At the beginning of June, check the seven day forecast for your area and keep checking it.

How can I get others involved in my event?

To spread the workload and demonstrate the breadth of knowledge, skills and expertise in farming - team up with your farming neighbours, agronomist, vet, conservation advisor and sponsors. You could ask them to help publicise the event, or invite them to say a few words on the farm tour to give you some breathing space!  You could also involve other local people and groups in the community to get involved such as the Young Farmers, the Scouts etc.

How much should I charge visitors to my event?

We don’t envisage an entry fee for Open Farm Sunday events. However, if you want to raise have a cause that is close to your heart such as a local charity, or charge for specific activities such as tractor and trailer ride, make sure you make that clear on your website entry and on your publicity material.

What Health and Safety measures should I consider?

Health and Safety is important but it should not overshadow your day. The key is to assess the risks and plan around them. We’ve compiled some of the key information and golden rules for you. Read more

How should I direct visitors around my event?

Let the characters from Shaun the Sheep help your visitors find their way around your farm and encourage them to keep their hands clean. We’ve got lots of signs for you to download and print out.

If possible have a map of the farm on hand or have volunteers at the entrance to help direct customers.

How should I communicate with visitors to the event?

Make it memorable: Using props and hands on activities really helps visitors’ to remember their day. LEAF have also produced a booklet with step by step instructions for 12 other activities to help make farm walks and talks memorable, fun and interactive.  A new website ‘Farming is Magic’ also has lots of great ideas and short video clips to inspire you to host engaging on farm visits - the site has been developed by experienced OFS hosts, Susie Emmett and David Jones who is also our OFS East of England Co-ordinator.

Make the link between your farm and people’s fridges: Always start off from plate to plough and make your story relevant to your audiences’ lives. If you process your own food have it out on display or buy some that could have been produced on your farm to help visitors make the link

Keep it personal - Your visitors are far more likely to remember stories about you, your family, your animals, why you love farming, why you wanted to become a farmer. They are less likely to remember how many acres you farm, number of cows, crops and specific stewardship options

Being positive, prepared and jargon free - If you get a tricky question, do not try and answer on behalf of the industry, but keep it personal to your farm which is far more positive.

How should I publicise my event?

Event size and publicity - There is a range of different ways you can publicise your event to get the numbers you would like. Whether you’re wanting a small scale event for a select few people, an event for the masses, or somewhere in between, we’ve got some useful information showing you how you can get the numbers you want. Read more

Photos  don’t forget to take lots of photos of your event and send them to us (openfarmsunday@leafuk.org)  We’d love to see them shared with us on social media too. We’re on Twitter (@openfarmsunday) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/LEAFOpenFarmSunday). If you plan to take photographs or video of visitors for any marketing or promotional activity (such as websites, Facebook, sending to your local media, leaflets, etc.) you should get consent from visitors. We have produced some materials to help which you can find in our download section.

Competitions

What are the terms and conditions for the Open Farm Sunday competitions?

LEAF Open Farm Sunday Photo Competition

The winners will be contacted via Facebook by 14th July 2017 and announced here on the website on 20th July 2017.   Here are the terms and conditions for the 2017 LEAF Open Farm Sunday Photo Competition:

  • Competition runs on Facebook between 9th June and midnight on 26th June 2017.
  • There are four top prizes of £25 Asda gift card.  No alternative prizes will be offered.
  • To enter the competition, share your pictures from your Open Farm Sunday visit on the OFS Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LEAFOpenFarmS…).
  • You must have permission to use the photo.
  • The four winners will be chosen by the LEAF Open Farm Sunday team and professional photographer Ian Damms.  The judge’s decision is final.  All winners will be contacted via Facebook by 14th July 2017 with details of how to claim their prize which will be posted to them.
  • Winning photos will be used for media and social media activity by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and may be used on the www.farmsunday.org website
  • Employees of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and associated companies are not eligible.
  • The competition is open to UK residents only.

LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2017 Visitor Feedback Survey Free Prize Draw

Terms and Conditions:

  • Free Prize Draw running between 28th May 2017 and midnight on 7th July 2017.
  • There are six prizes of £100 gift cards or vouchers from our supermarket sponsors: Asda, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-op and Waitrose. No alternative prizes will be offered.
  • To enter the competition, either complete the visitor survey form online at www.farmsunday.org or complete a visitor feedback form at an Open Farm Sunday event.
  • The winners will be chosen at random by the LEAF Open Farm Sunday team.  The judge’s decision is final. All winners will be contacted by email by 22nd July 2017 and the winners will be announced on our website by 1st August 2017.
  • Employees of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and associated companies are not eligible.

•       The competition is open to UK residents only.

LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2016 Visitor Follow-up Survey Free Prize Draw [April 2017]

Terms and Conditions:

  • Free Prize Draw running between 31st March 2017 and midnight on 17th April 2017.
  • There is one prize of a £50 Amazon voucher.  No alternative prize will be offered.
  • To enter the competition, complete the visitor follow-up survey online following your Open Farm Sunday visit in 2016.
  • The winner will be chosen at random by the LEAF Open Farm Sunday team.  The judge’s decision is final. The winner will be contacted on email by 30th April 2017.
  • Employees of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and associated companies are not eligible

Data Protection Act 1998

LEAF will process this information given for any/all of the following purposes: accounts and records; realising the objectives of a charitable organisation; advertising, marketing and public relations; consultancy and advisory services; education; research.  LEAF will not forward your information to third parties.

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