Jacob Anthony: Step back and see how battle-hardened we are

With Christmas fast approaching, it is always a good time to take a step back and reflect on the preceding months in the farming calendar.

This has proved to be yet another turbulent year for agriculture, with a spectrum of challenges ranging from a crash in beef prices to ongoing political uncertainty and yet another rise in militant vegan activity.

Oh yes, and just as we thought we were having a reasonable year on the weather front, the heavens have decided to open, unleashing an unprecedented amount of rainfall in some parts of the country.

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It has felt at times that the whole world is against us, with an endless array of obstacles in the industry’s way at every junction.

Having said all this, we must be proud of the fact we have all soldiered on through these adversities to keep our business and beloved lifestyles going.

As farmers we never give up and tackle everything that’s thrown at us head on, and this year has been no different.

We have to show the ability to adapt and alter our ways in order to make sure we can farm in a profitable and viable manner.

Oldest and the greatest

Seeing so many people from up and down the country on social media and various publications (mainly Farmers Weekly, of course) showing innovative approaches to the way they farm, as well as trying pioneering new ventures is truly inspiring.

I really do believe that there is no industry that can show as much adaptability as that of agriculture – after all we are the oldest industry in the world.

The way this year has been so uncertain, I very much doubt next year will be any different. We can’t sit back and be pessimistic.

I believe that as long as we stick together as a collective group, express our opinion in the right way and engage with consumers at every given opportunity to make sure our story is heard, then we can be confident that we are doing all we can to make sure the industry heads down the right path. The rest is out of our control.

There has been plenty of doom and gloom spouted in 2019. I am the first one to say that I can often find myself stuck in a rut mulling over all the bad aspects of farming and what’s gone wrong.

That’s why is so important to take a step back and actually look at what the past year has thrown at us all collectively as an agricultural sector.

Only then will you realise that you have come out the other side stronger and more battle-hardened, ready to take on the next challenges, knowing that you’ve been here before and it didn’t break you.

A pessimist complains about the wind, an optimist expects it to change and a realist adjusts the sails. We are an industry of realists, so bring on 2020.