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Farmer feedback

It just keeps getting better!  Thank you to all host farmers who hosted LEAF Open Farm Sunday events and to all your helpers. 

  • 358 farms hosted events from Jersey to Inverness
  • 83 farms, 23% took part for the first time
  • Events ranged in size from welcoming 10 visitors to our largest event, MHS Farms near Peterborough which had over 10,000 visitors over the weekend!
  • Many farms have reported double the number of visitors compared with previous years 
  • “Awesome result. We found that people are genuinely interested in what we do.”
  • “Best ever Open Farm Sunday. Farm was packed. Lovely atmosphere.”
  • “A fantastic event with a steady flow of visitors throughout the day. Really positive feedback from young and old. A great community relations’ event, and helps to improve the public’s understanding of agriculture.”
  • “It was a good opportuntiy for people who are aware of our farm and have heard of us to actually come and visit and get closer to the animals.”
  • “We ran a private event and publicised it to local residents, churches, businesses and the local nursery school. We expected around 200 visitors based on last year but had 262 on the day! We all really enjoyed the day.”
  • “It was an amazing day. The sun shone and the visitors came in their droves. Facebook has been an amazing advertising tool.”
  • “Seven mile guided farm walk for the local Ramblers Group followed by afternoon tea and tasting our organic on farm produced cheese.”

More stories from LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2017…

“Last year we started small, approx 200 visitors, this year blew us away! 1000+! We had a sheep shearing demo, pet lambs, pygmy goats, a see-through beehive, cows, spinning and knitting and loads of resources for small people and simple fun games. It is fun education for the public and likewise for the hosts! Some of the questions asked are mind boggling. Also one tip if you have a tractor for them to climb in, disconnect the horn! Roll on 2018!”

“We had a fantastic day with over double the amount of visitors than our event last year! It was great to team up with our neighbouring farm with their large herd of milking goat so we could offer visitors an additional tour of their farm and milking parlour which was a huge hit. It was great to chat to those who visited and we had some great feedback; a favourite being that a 4 yr old boy had gone to nursery the next day and was telling his friends and teachers all about the wheat in his biscuits! Job done!”

“Our event was a great success. Double the number of visitors from last year. All very interested in the robotic milkers nad the calves. Loved having access to a tractor for photos and the kids loved the welly wanging and bale hurdling in the field.”

“We had a split 50:50 of local villagers and visitors who found the Farm from the LEAF website. We had some visitors who just came to see the SSSI’s which was great and what we wanted. Youngsters came and fed the lambs and the hens and one family stayed for a couple of hours. They wrote a lovely e-mail to thank us and say what a great time they had had.”

“A very busy and interactive day for staff and visitors, the feed back was very positive. We ran farm tours, guided bird spotting walks, farmyard quiz, raffles, FWAG had a brilliant stand also doing interactive activities with children. Static farm machinery and sheep went down almost as well as the free milk shakes which were brought by a fellow dairy farmer.”

“Over 70 people braved the weather and attended our LEAF Open Farm Sunday Event. Visitors enjoyed meeting the pigs and looking around the farm and were able to relax with a cup of tea and a Welsh cake. Visitors kindly donated £47 to Parkinsons UK. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported us.”

“This year we explored more farm-to-fork processes than ever! From sheep shearing to wool spinning, milking parlour demos to tankers tours to sampling yoghurts, crop talks to machinery displays and porridge sampling!  We had an action-packed array of ‘hands on’ activities for our visitors to get involved with and get involved they did!  We had questions a-plenty and enjoyed answering every single one of them! All of our wonderful supporters who gave their time and energy are keen to come back again next year and make it even bigger and better… bring on OFS 2018!”

“We had over 4000 visitors. They could take part in three different tours around our farm, piglet viewing, farrowing paddock tour with newly farrowed sows, tractor and trailer ride around the farm. There were also two talks available, one in the wheat field learning about what the wheat we grow makes bread and one tour around the potato field that a third party farmer grows to make just crisps. There was also make your own scarecrow, grow a broad bean plant, an inflatable challenge, hog roast, tea coffee and cakes, ice creams and lots more… generally we feel this is the best year we have had on turn out and success of the events on the day.”

“This is our 6th year of hosting an LEAF Open Farm Sunday and we had a good number of visitors again.  We try to put on as many things as possible to get people involved. Our vets hosted a stand where people could put their hand in the back of a cow (not a real one!!)and talk about what they do; milk ‘Charlotte the cow’ (also not a real one), tractor and trailer rides run by Anthony the host farmer who gave an informative talk and stopped at key points throughout the farm to talk and allow visitors to ask questions, our hoof trimmer was chatting to everyone and showing them what he does on real cows for people to see. We had lovely samples of dairy products; a local tractor dealership and contractor loaned us lots of machinery for people to see and climb in; Genus breeding were on hand to chat about breeding programs and what we do…  and of course the rotary milking parlour viewing gallery was a real hit, everyone loves to see the cows being milked.  And to top it off in traditional style one of our ladies had a gorgeous baby calf bang in the middle of the afternoon… lots of happy visitors watched that unfolding and were delighted to witness the birth.”

“2017 was a very successful weekend for us, visitor numbers, four farm safari trailers, plenty of pick your own spuds and for the first time two shire horses ploughing which hasn’t happened on the farm for over 60 years! We used the site more efficiently and reduced any queues. This is about creating memories for families and one day, future generations will think more positively about their food and farmers caring for the environment.”

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