Ross Symons©Jim Wileman

Before I start this month’s article, I would like to say how humbled I was by the response from my last one. The emails I received were very touching and came from all corners of Britain. It is incredible to think so many people pay attention to my ramblings.

Dad is back home and going strong. However, his plans for world domination will have to wait a bit longer. The thought of going out in the wind and rain certainly dampens his enthusiasm and anyway, the dog needs some company and Dad didn’t buy a brand new sofa last year not to sit on it, did he?

See also: Read more from our other livestock farmer focus writers 

He has been up and walking around, though his little bouts of exercise were rumbled when he walked one way down the road and was spotted catching the bus back home.

All joking aside, the support from my team over the past couple of months has been tremendous. Whether it’s our neighbour Steve, who can weld anything to anything, or my parents’ friends, who sent food parcels of fish pie disguised as cottage pie by mistake, it has been greatly appreciated.

Even our vet Tracy made sure the dog hasn’t been without, duly presenting her with a chew-toy at the last scanning visit.

As we head into 2015 with the dairy industry in a perpetual state of flux, the next 12 months will be challenging to say the least. If any business is to survive this year, a fantastic team behind them is a must. Vets, consultants, nutritionists – even the guy who comes and fixes the equipment when I – er, I mean someone – breaks it.

When we did our budgets this year it is perhaps no surprise they looked pretty grim. I’m sure we’re not alone in this. But without a decent team, that figure could look a lot worse.

So we can put a cost against these people for budgeting reasons, but for the value we get out of them there is no figure. We simply count our business as far better because of the team – and that means everything. 

Ross Symons

Ross Symons farms 200 dairy cows, including his own small herd of pedigree Holsteins, with his parents near Truro, Cornwall. They are converting their year-round calving herd to autumn block calving.