Farmers backbone of rural economy
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead will meet grass root farmers around the kitchen table today, when he visits Dowhill farm in Girvan.
In the first of a series of kitchen table talks, Mr Lochhead will hear first hand from local farmers about their views of the industry, challenges they face and innovative practices being adopted.
Mr Lochhead said:
“Farmers are the backbone of our rural economy. But there’s no doubt it's been a tough year for the farming industry with challenges in terms of markets, rising input costs, farm gate prices, dairy price cuts and above all the changeable and often unpredictable weather.
“I’ll be around the kitchen table at Dowhill Farm in Girvan – the first in a series of such talks - to get grass roots views of local farmers. It’s a great opportunity for me to hear first hand about their concerns, the challenges they currently face and how they overcome or adapt to these.
“The tremendous resilience of farming communities is hugely impressive. I know that farmers across the country are doing all they can to make the best of their businesses in challenging times, including diversifying and adopting innovative practices to ensure longer term sustainability. I look forward to learning more about local farmers solutions to current issues during these talks.
“Engaging with farmers and making sure their views are represented is crucial to ensuring we have a flourishing farming sector. And that is why I am working hard to ensure the diverse needs of Scotland’s farmers are reflected in the current Common Agricultural Policy reform process.
“I look forward to many more kitchen table talks with farmers the length and breadth of Scotland to ensure that the farming industry remains vibrant and viable for many years to come.”