Letter: We're no elite

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Sir: Once again I see a letter from someone who obviously has no idea about farming, but considers farmers a "pampered elite" (23 November).

I suggest that your reader from Plymouth takes herself out on to the moors only a few minutes from her home and asks those trying to make a living on small to medium-sized farms just how pampered they feel. She would see proud, hard-pressed, hard-working and nigh-on desperate people who are swimming as hard as they can but still sinking.

Farmers' incomes have halved this past couple of years, and many are making a loss year-on-year, no matter what type of farm they run. My father ran a small mixed farm, and would never have chosen to do anything else as it was in his blood, but he worked so very hard. He cannot recall a time when every area of farming was making a loss, and I can only say that I am glad that he has now retired, but I have many other relatives and family friends (from the North of England) who are living on a knife- edge, and who keep going only because to give up would not be in their nature.


St Martin's,