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What would you do for farming if you were government?

This was one of the questions I was asked when being interviewed the other day. A ribbon of quicksilver thoughts free-fell through my brain – global economies, EU legislation, free-trade, climate change, energy, air-miles? Where would I make a change, what would have an effect? I was about to open my mouth with something along the lines that the topic was far too involved and deserved discussion in its own right, when I heard myself say – Education. Simplest, cheapest and most effective. Educate all our children from an early age about food, farming, countryside and the environment, locally, nationally and internationally. Integrated fully into the curricula of subjects already taught, future generations would come to understand the value of quality food (so they are prepared to pay the extra to buy it and farmers can earn a decent crust), and about the way food and the environment and our cultural heritage are inseparable. So, the current Year of Food and Farming is on entirely the right lines, but it needs to be continued, become mainstream. Ultimately, farming depends upon all of us as consumers, and this is where government should show real leadership, not through passing yet more laws but through helping us to make informed choices.

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