Simon Haley, agricultural business consultant and social media pioneer

The farming sector needs to improve its ability to communicate with the general public, according to an agricultural business consultant addressing a major farming conference in early 2020.

Simon Haley, agricultural business consultant and social media pioneer, is one of the speakers at the Farming Scotland Conference, taking place in Carnoustie on Thursday 13 February 2020.

The event will be sponsored by EQ Chartered Accountants, Bell Ingram, Royal Bank of Scotland and Thorntons Solicitors. 

Explaining how farming can add value in a digital world, Mr Haley will highlight the importance of accessibility, educating and sharing, allowing the public to become better informed about what farmers do, how the food we all eat is produced, and the impact farming has on wider society.

Recent media coverage has often presented a relatively negative picture of farming, such as the impact of some intensive farming practices on greenhouse gas emissions. This, according to Mr Haley feeds into the issue he is encouraging others in the farming sector to help him address.

Mr Haley said, “If the farming community ignores the opportunities for sharing its story, others will fill the gap, often with negative or alternative agendas. Storytelling is such a powerful tool and the agriculture industry must utilise its full potential.”

Mr Haley has put his ideas into action over recent years, as the founder of online and social media channels such as @AgriChatUK, @FarmersOfTheUK and www.eatfarmnow.com. Collectively these channels have engaged thousands of people in telling, sharing and hearing farmers’ stories and provided focused outlets for farmers to converse with people from all over the world.

He continued, “I’m looking forward to engaging with the delegates at the Farming Scotland Conference, many of whom will have their own strong farming stories to tell. They have an opportunity to communicate their passion, professionalism and purpose through visual elements that do so much more to explain the highs and lows of working in the rural sector.”

The Farming Scotland Conference takes place at Carnoustie Golf Hotel and Spa, Carnoustie.

For more information on the full programme, and to register, visit www.farmingscotlandconference.co.uk or contact Mary Campbell on (01307) 474274 or mary.campbell@eqaccountants.co.uk.