Farmer Focus: AHDB should stop telling gran how to suck eggs

Now then, it’s 2019 already. Brexit is still rumbling on – it’s like being at a bad parish council meeting.

I think at this point a wrong decision is less disastrous for the food and farming industry than indecision. As farmers who improvise and adapt on a daily basis we are going to have to take whatever cards we are dealt and get on with it to the best of our ability.

Looking at Brexit in a positive light, change will always throw up new possibilities to the most progressive in the industry.

With a new domestic agricultural policy we must push hard as a whole to promote red meat.

Cattle and sheep are not just ornaments on a hill side to look pretty, they have to earn their keep. We should focus on food production.

See also: How beef finishers have improved health and cattle weight gain

The subsidy system, now and in the future with the new environmental and land management schemes, are stifling British agriculture. It’s nearly impossible to be entrepreneurial with the mountains of red tape.

We need simpler systems everybody can take up without fear of the subsidy being used as a big stick to beat us with. Personally, being totally naïve, it would be nice to be given the option to opt out altogether and go for all-out production.

The red meat industry is in danger of being bullied by militant minority groups. We need to take them head on with balanced facts.

In my opinion, as a levy payer, the vast majority of the AHDB budget should be spent on PR and promotion, not on glossy brochures telling grandma how to suck eggs.

I always look forward to a new year. We are always looking to expand both enterprises, beef and arable. We are well tackled up with a willing and able workforce.

This is actually our centenary year at Osgodby Grange, my family having bought the farm where we are today in 1919.

No one could have imagined the changes in agriculture in the past 100 years. Most things that come to challenge us are only bumps in the road when you look back – onwards and upwards.


Doug Dear is a Farmer Focus writer from Yorkshire. Read his biography.