Close to 300,000 visitors will descend onBritish farms on June 9.I dreamed upOpen Farm Sunday(OFS)some 14 years ago.Itspurposeis to build trust and bust misconceptions,bringingthe publicclosertofarmersandcreate an event worthy of media fanfare.

Although OFS will address many of the challenges specific to the United Kingdom, it holds lessons for farmers everywhereand shows that when we tell our stories, we improve our reputation and prospects.

Managed by thecharity LEAF, which stands for Linking Environment and Farming,OFS has become the largest single-day visitor event in the UK.Farms up and down the country, big and small welcome the public.We showcasethe toil,wonder,andtechnologyof production and biodiversitythatfarming delivers forthecountryand the countryside.Whilst corporatebusinessessee a need tohire spindoctorsand public-relations juggernautstogreenwash their environmental credentials and allegiance to the sustainability of theplanet, farmers open their gates.Honesty and opennessarean easy sell.

Whatother industrycan boast 400 businesses(farms)and7,000 helpers(neighbouring farmers, husbands, wives,andlocalvolunteers)? Theygiveupnot only aSunday,but alsodaysdevoted topreparationallto offer visitors a free day out.

Its media manna. Television, print media, even Britains longest running radiosoap, The Archers,trumpetthe merits and euphoria surrounding ourOFS.In a world ofturmoil,we all enjoy some uplifting cheer.

Job done?Well,not quite.

Pigott began Open Farm Sunday and conducts numerous other tours and classes at his farm outside London.

When OFS began,farmers were pushing at an open door.Themediaback thenbroadcastonlyone storyofBritish farming:a bad one.A portrayalofdirty farmspeddlingpoor husbandry and a disregard for the countryside.The reality couldnt have been more differentand now were enjoying asea changein attitudes.Farmers haveforged amuchstrongerrelationship with the media.TheBBCs flagshipSunday night programme about rural issuesdraws up to 7 million viewers.Niche food, provenance,and country wear brandsare in vogue. Farmersare once again seen ashard-workingfriends of environmental stewardship and sustainability, not the subsidygrabbing foesof thriving habitats.

Yet a huge new challenge looms.On Halloween,British farming could turn into a pumpkinbecausethe UKis scheduledto leave the European Unionon October 31.In what has becomeadivisive, protracted,and shambolic process,Britains departure from the EU asks more questions than it answers for its farmers.Running parallel to Brexit,a newagriculturebill is chugging its way through Parliament.We dont know muchofthedetail surrounding thefuture of agricultural supportortrade arrangements with countriesinside andoutside of the EU.

Farming in Britain is going to come under a lot of pressure.A cut infarmsupportlooks inevitable,as dosome adverse tariffs or duties.

Pigott received the 2014 Kleckner award due in part to his founding and efforts with OFS.

We have two choices.Join the race to the bottom and try and competeonpricewith countriesthathave much lower costs of productionsormake a compelling story as to why choosing British food at thecheckoutmarksacommitmentto food quality,a healthy environment,and avibrantlandscape.

Michael Gove the Secretary of State forEnvironment,Food,andRuralAffairshasannouncedhis desire to redistribute any direct farm support intopublic goods.Ironically,conveying benefits of public goodsto the public is not straightforward.Thepublicspang of guiltthat comes fromexportingitssocial and environmental consciencewhen buying imported foodgrown to a lower environmental standardis short lived.We cant be environmentally conscious some of the time,saysGretaThunberg,the Swedish schoolgirl who has sparked environmental protests around the world.Farmers need to makethecaseforwhen consumers buy British, they investin the legacy thatcreates the landscapes that surround us.

And that brings us back toOFS.Theres no better way to make our case than by throwing open our gates and inviting everybody to visit us and see what we do.

In the 1980s,Britain stoppedmining and started importing cheaper coal.Mining communities have never fully recovered.Unless wecontinue to investintherelationship that we have with the British people our rural communities could suffer the same fate.The sentiment is with us.Peopleare more aware ofthe climate and environmental challenges that we all face.As farmers we have all the ingredients forsuccess; sustainablepractice,a realcommitment to biodiversity,and an openness andtransparencyto build trust.

We have such a great story to tell.Lets share it.