I encourage all of you to attend a farm open day.
If you eat food or drink you should really have a greater understanding of the processes that occur to contribute to your favourite meals and beverages.
Farm open days are an excellent opportunity to show the nation's 90 per cent city population what goes on behind closed doors in the most transparent and safe way possible — we are after all operating in the age of biosecurity crises and an under resourced rural police force.
We also have a public with no links to farms or farming anymore which means misinformation campaigns or media coverage on the most extreme negative court case can become the public's main impression of farming.
To combat this, I encourage farmers to open their properties to the public or encourage their urban counterparts to attend a farm open day.
Being transparent about what farmers do, how they do it and why they do it is the best policy going forward. Honesty is generally a good policy and takes power away from detractors. I'm not suggesting anything extreme such as risk your business secrets around how you get a greater return than your closest competition — but I'm talking about showing your proof of sustainability — especially to the people you want as customers.
And If there is a farmer down the road struggling for ideas around how to improve their operation seeing your work, and being able to talk to you, could help them on their way to running a far better business than what they were doing.
Fonterra ran a successful series of open days recently which went down a treat with the public.
Over 8000 people attended the nationwide series.
People left happy, better informed and with some ice cream.
What a good way to help bring everyone along and to bring communities together.