This morning we departed from Stafford Upon Avon and began our journey toward Liverpool. We had about a two-hour bus ride to Liverpool, where we stopped for lunch and to visit some sights in the city. Liverpool is the home of The Beetles, so many of us spent time visiting museums and gift shops to learn about their hometown.
In the afternoon we visited with Farmers Guardian, an agricultural publication is the northern portion of England. Here, we spoke with three individuals who work with the reporting, editing, and social media aspects of this publication. It was interesting to learn how this publication differed from Farmers Weekly, which we visited last week.
Farmers Guardian is published on Fridays and has an audience of about 30,000. They have been working the past few years to establish a social media presence and were able to walk us through this process. Learning about how they strategically think about what to publish in print vs what they post on social media and on the website was interesting to think about and how to alter or make changes to articles to attract different age groups and how to encourage more engagement.
We also discussed several agricultural issues that are in the UK and how these relate to the agricultural issues we have in the United States. We talked about the challenges we face communicating agriculture to the public and ways to work on this. It is interesting to hear the challenges we face in the U.S., such as consumer perception, agricultural literacy, and market prices, are also challenges they face here in the United Kingdom. One program they have implemented in the UK is “open farm Sunday” which is this coming Sunday. Farms across the UK can opt in and allow consumers to visit their farms for tours and to learn more about agricultural practices. This is one way they work to educate consumers about practices, policies and allow them a view of what farming looks like first-hand.
For dinner we ate at our hotel in Carisle. We are all very excited to make our way to Scotland tomorrow!