Local MSP Jackie Baillie will mark Open Farm Sunday on a visit to Ardardan Estate in Cardross this weekend.

Organised by national charity LEAF, the popular event will see hundreds of farms open their gates to the public on Sunday 5 June.

Open Farm Sunday aims to give families a glimpse into life on the farm -; everything from a chance to see and learn more about the animals, to woodland walks and tractor rides, will be an offer at Ardardan on Sunday.

Speaking in the build up to the day, Jackie said it was a great opportunity for people to get in touch with the farming community that keep’s the nation fed:

“With around 1 in 10 of all Scottish jobs dependent on agriculture and the sector worth £2.3 billion a year, farming is one of the real pillars our country is built on.

“But many of us don’t realise just how big and important it is, or the amount of farms just on our doorstep.

“It’s all too easy today to be wrapped up in techonology without realising where the food on our plates comes from.

“I would encourage everyone to make some time for Open Farm Sunday in June and enjoy the best of what Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond has to offer.”

The EU referendum on June 23 will play a big part in shaping the future of farming in Scotland. EU support for farmers accounts for 55% of all UK farming income, while nine of our top ten import destinations and seven of our top ten export destinations for food are in the EU.

Jackie added:

“The farming community is going through a tough time at the moment with supermarket price wars making it difficult to keep business heads above water. Meanwhile crucial services such as high-speed broadband need to be improved and the SNP Government must act fast so rural communities aren’t left behind.

“In this context it is more important than ever that farmers need access to the massive EU market for Scottish produce.”

For more information on Open Farm Sunday and for details of a farm visit near you, go to https://farmsunday.org/.


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