December has arrived. The final month of what has been a rather challenging year and a complete baptism of fire for my first year as a farm manager.
It fills me with glee every time I hear someone with 10 times more experience than I do say “This has been a really tough year” because I think to myself, “Great, that means things can only get better, chin up”.
We are now more or less into our winter routine with cattle coming and going, muck being hauled left right and centre, and the hedge trimmer back on the tractor where it will stay for the foreseeable future.
Recently, as I am sure you all know, the BBC broadcast that scandalous programme Meat: A Threat To Our Planet?.
A really interesting, educational, well-researched and enlightening documentary it would have been too – had it been broadcast in the US.
But no, it was shown to millions of British people on prime-time television and in the process tarred British agriculture with the same bad brush as America’s meat producing habits. What a joke.
58 minutes of bull manure
And what do we get in return? Shots fired from our side right into the hearts of the BBC? A torpedo fired in the side of HMS Vegan? No.
We get the AHDB sending the BBC an open letter telling the corporation that they’re very naughty boys and girls for misleading the British public.
Farming also had a brief slot on Radio 4, which should have been the best marketing piece around, but instead just went round in circles discussing the programme (which probably boosted its viewing numbers on BBC iPlayer). Oh, and we got a fat diddly squat from the NFU.
Quite frankly I am more enraged by the wishy-washy response from our so-called farming bodies then I am with the BBC for broadcasting 58 minutes of bull manure which bears no relation to British agriculture.
The time has come for the AHDB, NFU, NBA and NSA (there is a free steak to whoever can make the most number of words out of those acronyms) to pull their fingers out, stop trying to teach granny to suck eggs, and get some marketing campaigns rolling.
Use some membership or levy money to raise awareness of the high welfare standards we operate with and let’s turn this anti-meat bus around. In my opinion it has got to come from us and then everyone can get onboard.
After that rant, all that remains is for me to wish you all a very happy Christmas. Don’t forget to buy all your friends plenty of locally sourced meaty gifts.
Oh and by time you hear from me next there will be a new government in place. How exciting, I can hardly wait…