Comment: Relish the chance to open your farm on June 5

Open Farm Sunday is a great way to involve the public.
Open Farm Sunday is a great way to involve the public.
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I am a fifth generation farmer, I work on the family dairy farm at Curlew Fields Farm, Hessay, alongside my family. We are passionate about farming and helping others to understand the work we do – not just to produce food but also managing the countryside.

I am an active member of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire group, the local Grassland Society, Boroughbridge Young Farmers and I recently ran a dairy exhibition at Springtime Live, based at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

It is a family passion to communicate our business to the general public and that is why we can’t wait to open our gates to the public, once again, for Open Farm Sunday on June 5.

It will be an opportunity for the public to see first-hand how our farm operates, and the hard work that goes into the products you see every day on your breakfast table, like milk and butter.

We have been supplying Arla with milk for Cravendale for nearly 12 years now, and our milk produced here on Curlew Fields Farm is also used in Great British Anchor butter.

My father is really good at what he does and I’m learning from him. Our Holstein cattle give 10,300 litres of milk per annum. We still have conventional milking, alongside state-of-the-art automatic feeding and housing. We are always proud to show people around the farm, we have even had visitors from Japan.

This will be our fourth Open Farm Sunday event, and we are aiming to attract around 600 people.

Last year’s event was incredible, as was the support from our neighbours and friends. This year, local bee keepers will be on the farm, as well as sheep shearers, and Arla will be bringing products made from our milk for the public to taste - and there will be a lot of farmer friends to talk to.

Whatever your age, Open Farm Sunday has something to offer and is ideal for the whole family. Children can join us for a guided farm walk and my family are on hand to talk to visitors and answer their questions.

There is also an opportunity to watch the cows being milked and much more besides – many of our visitors are particularly fascinated by all the high tech machinery that farmers use such as the combine harvester.

This year we will again be raising money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance - we managed to raise more than £400 last year - and Boroughbridge Young Farmers Club will be supporting us in car parking and providing refreshments.

Open Farm Sunday highlights the passion, expertise and commitment that goes into producing the food that we all enjoy and looking after the fantastic countryside around us.

The day is a great opportunity to show the public why farming is so important and to help build trust and understanding in agriculture.

Never before have the public been more interested in food and farming, and I would encourage farmers to get involved on June 5, whether by opening your own farm to visitors or supporting neighbouring farmers who are holding an event.

Tom Hildreth is a member of the Future Farmers of Yorkshire group which is supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. It brings together younger farmers, vets and industry supporters. For more information about the group, email futurefarmersofyorkshire@yas.co.uk

To register an event for Open Farm Sunday on June 5, visit www.farmsunday.org