Farmer Focus: Losing a friend puts things into perspective

This is a very tough article to write, as we are all still in a state of shock at Lower Wood.

This time of year is undoubtedly my favourite, as fieldwork commences and we look to lay the foundations, in forage terms, for the rest of the year.

It has its stresses, but ultimately it’s a very satisfying period with everything coming thick and fast.

This year, however, it has all come with a great big dose of perspective. 

See also: Farmer Focus: We’re all paddling like mad underneath

Very sadly, our heifer-rearing partner and close family friend, John Hudson, passed away suddenly four weeks ago on Sunday.

At 62 years of age, it was a real shock and totally unexpected. It has been a real blow for his wife, family and friends. 

John has played a major part in my short dairy farming career so far, as we formed our farming relationship 15 months after I came home in 2014.

It was a real learning curve for both of us as we got used to working in partnership, but, ultimately, it is safe to say that the farm is looking in great order and we can look back with many fond memories. 

I miss hearing his views on what I am doing and his enthusiasm for a plan once we had agreed on its outcome.

It has been a very tough few weeks with the funeral and everything that goes with it. It has brought about uncertainty, but having had time to reflect on it while sitting on the tractor working down maize ground, it has made me realise a few things.

Yes, we all want to be successful, and I will continue to strive for that, but life is incredibly fragile, and we really do need to give ourselves the chance to step back and appreciate what we have, whether that is our families, our achievements to date or even our farming efforts.

Always give those around you your time, as we really do not know what might be around the corner.

The farm will still be there tomorrow, as will life’s stresses and strains.