Farmer Focus: Recuperation allows time to admire protests

I’ve spent the past few weeks recuperating after a successful hernia operation and can’t thank the rest of the team here enough for all their extra hard work.

I’m just about managing to climb up into a tractor now, so I’m on feeding duties instead of milking for a week or two yet.

Having all this time has allowed me to catch up with paperwork in the office just in time for our farm assurance inspection this month. It’s also perhaps given me too much of an opportunity to think about things. 

So, with that in mind, and nothing else to report on farm other than the winter slog continuing, just indulge me.

See also: European farmer protests place focus on British farming concerns

About the author

Colin Murdoch
Ayrshire farmer and zero grazer Colin Murdoch switched from Holsteins to milking 225 Jerseys in 2019. The 182ha farm grows 40ha of winter and spring barley for a total mixed ration and parlour fed system supplying Graham’s Family Dairy.
Read more articles by Colin Murdoch

“Never bite the hand that feeds you” – a good phrase that, isn’t it? So how come our so-called leaders seem to have completely forgotten that mantra?

I wholeheartedly support our European counterparts in their protests. Good on them for finally standing up to ridiculous bureaucracy and rules.

I keep hearing that such protests wouldn’t have public support here. I don’t believe that’s true.

I’m sure we’d be cheered up and down the country if we had the gumption to blockade London and dump a few loads of manure at the end of Downing Street.

I don’t think we’d need to worry too much about the police either, as they can’t even remove a handful of crackpots gluing themselves to roads!

What would we actually be protesting about, though? Does it really matter where the public gets its food? Do people care?

Here we all are working in quite possibly the most stressful time so far for agriculture, trying to provide a high-quality product that someone else could do to a lower standard – and more cheaply – elsewhere. 

As an industry, can we get any more efficient, or does there come a point where we just say enough is enough?

I was in the audience for the BBC’s Question Time in Glasgow last week and food security was not even mentioned.

It seemed to be that everyone felt they were entitled to something for nothing, whether it was prescriptions, university tuition or bus passes.

They might all have to learn to dig their gardens quite quickly if worldwide events keep escalating. Free spades for all!