Down on the Farm

I went recently to meet local farmers and the NFU to hear about farming concerns and to see what I could do to help with these. We met at the home of Ben and Fiona Cannon at Hyde Hall Farm, Buckland and we were given a tour of the farm outbuildings and office space there. About 12 other local farmers and NFU officials came. The farm is an impressive example of the ways in which farmers can successfully diversify in this age in which the agricultural machine has long superseded manual labour but the need for farmers to generate an income is still as important. It is also a beautiful landscape and recent moves by farmers such as wider field margins are seeing improvements to flora and fauna.
Hyde Hall is the centre of a number of enterprises and we were shown several initiatives which have begun as a result of government business and environmental initiatives. These included a smart cow shed and a converted barn -now office space. The office space was a sympathetic conversion in keeping with the other surrounding barns and it is now home to a small local company. Together with this office space, the farm has other industrial units which are let out and collectively these must be an enormous boost to rural employment. I am very much in favour of such schemes.
When we came to discuss farming concerns, there was significant reference to the EU Common Agricultural Policy in particular and I appreciate that a “one-system –fits-all” approach is not always a viable approach for all farmers within the EU. I am keen we should ensure our farmers are fairly treated and have raised their concerns with Farming Minister Jim Paice MP. We also touched upon the Localism Bill and the way this will deal with new developments. The whole of the group present recognised the need for greater energy efficiencies and this is what the Government’s Green Deal is intended to address. I was very pleased to meet local farmers again and discuss matters they wished to touch upon and I know that they felt it was a productive meeting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: