Opinion: 19 ideas for a better farming life in 2019

I’m not very good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, so this year I thought I’d try goals – 19 in total for 2019.

They should be more tangible and focused than most resolutions, and therefore easier to stick to. That’s the idea anyway.

See also: Read all our Fit2Farm features

Perhaps they will inspire you to set some for yourself. Without further ado, here they are:

  1. Appreciate the beautiful surroundings where I live every day, even if it’s raining.
  2. Eat only British meat, veg and fruit where possible. I won’t make the toddler give up his bananas, but apples, pears and soft fruits are a no-brainer.
  3. Practise mindfulness meditation daily to reduce my stress levels.
  4. Find more opportunities for writing. Start my own blog.
  5. Re-involve myself with the local Women in Dairy Group.
  6. Focus on an aspect of farm safety at least once a month with staff, either out in the yard or by watching a short film or webinar.
  7. Spend quality time with my husband without the children once a month. Have at least one child-free weekend away.
  8. Attend all 12 grazing discussion group meetings including the residential trip.
  9. Oversee the rearing of an excellent crop of replacement heifer calves which meet their weight targets throughout the year.
  10. Invest time in staff training on at least a monthly basis and implement individual training plans.
  11. Get to know more people in my local farming community by attending events and not being afraid to introduce myself to people I don’t know.
  12. Try making my own cheese with a home kit.
  13. Go horse riding on a beach.
  14. Do a physical activity that gets my heart racing at least three times a week.
  15. Spend less time on Facebook and read a book every month instead. I have a degree in English so this really shouldn’t be hard for me, but it’s amazing how distracting screens and life in general are.
  16. Review our herd health plan and use data to monitor and reduce key diseases including mastitis, milk fever and retained cleansing.
  17. Provide a great learning experience for the vet students and French agriculture students due to stay with us this year.
  18. Get involved in more business-related off-farm activities – vital for my sanity and sense of self identity.
  19. Have a monthly business/finance meeting with my husband in the office, and review our strategic life plan at least quarterly.

I’m going to go back to my school days and handwrite these goals out in coloured pens on a piece of A4 paper. I’ll stick it in the front of my diary and tick them off as I achieve them, or add notes on my progress.

If I manage to achieve them all, I’ll be able to look back on 2019 and say I had a pretty successful year. I hope that sharing them with readers of Farmers Weekly will give me an added incentive to stay on track.

So, if anyone spots me in Tesco with a punnet of Egyptian strawberries, feel free to photograph me and share it on Twitter. I’ll let you know how I get on…

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