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MP urges Defra staff to come to Cumbria for hands on farming experience

December 22, 2011 11:07 AM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron is encouraging Defra civil servants who are looking to learn to come to Cumbrian far TF ruralms.

After Richard Macdonald's Farming Regulation Task Force report suggested that the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs should gain hands on experience of farming businesses, the department were quick to encourage staff to visit farms.

The desk-bound civil servants are now looking to visit farms purely to learn in an attempt to increase direct knowledge and improve policy-making.

Commenting, Tim said: "For years, many of us here have said that Defra staff really need to get out of the office in London and understand what life is really like for farmers in Cumbria. It is great that Defra are now encouraging their staff to go to farms. A lot of the time it can seem like policy-makers are distanced from farmers and have very little direct knowledge of the farming community. Hopefully through such visits, farmers will become more comfortable and feel more confident in the Department as a whole.

"I really do hope that the visits will not be solely limited to the West Country, as I believe there is a huge difference between farmers in the north and farmers in the south. I think if Defra really want to experience farms, they have to experience them nationwide."