5 steps for inviting election candidates to your farm

Two people walking down a footpath

With the general election only weeks away this is your opportunity to get your local candidates out on farm and bring them up to speed on the key agricultural issues and challenges you want to see the next government taking action on.

Getting candidates on farm is a great opportunity to get across your specific local issues, as well as informing candidates about the broader problems impacting farmers up and down the country.

The NFU team can help arrange visits; read our 5 steps to a successful visit below.

If you are a parliamentary candidate wanting to get out on farm, please get in touch with our external affairs team at: [email protected].

Candidate counter
So far the NFU has met with
249
election candidates either on members' farms or through one-on-one meetings.

1. Get in touch with your county adviser

County advisers will be your first port of call for arranging a visit during the election period. They have been reaching out to candidates to promote the NFU’s general election manifesto and will be there to accompany you on the day of your visit.

They are also making sure that all parties in each constituency get the same offer of a visit, as the NFU is an apolitical organisation.

To get in touch with your local county adviser, please visit the relevant regional contact page below:

“There is no substitute for getting potential MPs out on farm.”

NFU Head of External Affairs Scott Pepe

2. Set the agenda

Your county adviser will help ensure that your invitation is clear and concise and explains why you’d like a candidate to come and visit you.

Take a look at the NFU’s manifesto where we break down simple, key asks on agricultural policy, covering everything from environmental schemes and flooding, to trade agreements and supply chain fairness.

Have a look at NFUonline to find out the big issues in your sector. If you want to discuss something else, it’s worth doing a bit of research to ensure you make your case as well as possible.

Landing a few points well is more effective than overloading candidates with information.

3. Plan an itinerary for the visit

Planning an itinerary is a good idea as it allows candidates to come to discussions better prepared.

A suggested plan could be a farm walk, followed by a kitchen table discussion. The farm walk gives candidates the chance to see how your business runs day to day and brings to life the issues you want to describe to them.

A kitchen table discussion also allows you to go over some of the key issues you wish to raise in more detail. It’s worth having a bad weather contingency plan, just in case.

Ensure they know they’ll need to bring appropriate footwear and clothing and they have clear instructions to get to the farm. What3Words is one tool that offers a more precise location than a postcode alone.

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4. Know your candidate

It’s really important to do some research of the candidate you are meeting, so you can understand their background and priorities.

The website They Work For You can be a useful tool to understand your former MP’s and candidate's views and voting record in advance of the meeting.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact either your regional team or the London office.

5. Come prepared with solutions

The NFU manifesto can help guide your discussions with candidates, and give you an opportunity to expand on how the issues raised within it impact you and your farm on a local level.

In our manifesto, we have provided solutions to many of the challenges the sector is facing, but this is also your chance to explain about the benefits these solutions would bring to your business.

After the meeting please do update the NFU’s External Affairs team about how the meeting went so we can coordinate our campaigning efforts ahead of the general election.

This page was first published on 09 August 2023. It was updated on 17 June 2024.


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