Farming in times of uncertainty

On Thursday we learned that after years of striving for unity with Europe that Great Britain will once again be on its own, we have seen open admissions of uncertainty and errors in leadership, but one thing is for certain life goes on and tomorrow will bring a new dawn and new beginnings for all of us.

Through school and college, I like many others were taught that being part of Europe was both a good thing for business and also something to be proud of, like many others I learnt with limited success to speak French just in case one day my employment prospects would depend on it, to date I am able to ask what time it is, ask someone’s name and state who I am, I can welcome someone, and within five minuets of conversation convince the other party that thinking you can speak a second language is awkward at best and potentially dangerous.

With all of the above in mind, the most important thing is that we keep trying, the years that have past with us feeling a sense if community with our European partners can surely not be lost and tossed aside, I haven’t even been on holiday yet to all of the European destinations.  I love my country and my home, but do at the same time feel a sense of loss and like most a sense of uncertainty on what the future will hold.

Immigration is a Worldwide problem, the growing tide of instability in war torn countries forcing people to flea their homes,careers and loved ones is unemaginable, yet sadly a fate of acceptance for many.  No one yet has the solution but while we struggle the untangle a problem of which some is of our own making, some will find new futures and a second chance of opportunity while others will die.

At the age of 24 I took part in an expedition to Guyana South America taking medical supplies to a former leprosy colony in Mehica, here I witnessed happiness in people who have absolutely nothing, experienced state and community corruption and also experienced some amazing parts of the country.

Following on from this, volunteering shaped my uncertain career path into working with young people through the Princes Trust helping them to find confidence in their own life skills and to carve a future, often out of very little into a building block for their future.  At this point I took up a post as team leader working for Stoke on Trent College delivering The Princes Trust Team Programme  from a team room in Cannock, before taking on the role of co-ordinator for South Staffordshire. Through this time I’d got married had two children moved house, then to experience my own loss through divorce and subsequent separation from my children.

Alongside working for the college, I had also undertaken a volunteering posts with the Tall Ships Youth Trust as a mentor, with no sailing experience I found myself in at the deep end with much in common with the people I had been charged to mentor, my first voyage was round the Greek islands, the second was to Holland on a voyage of understanding following the Bali bombings bringing young people together from different nationalities and cultures to work on a collective journey, my final voyage saw me coming home to my new partner, and new life on a farm in Worcestershire.  With  Sue I found love and a life which would shape us and help us to grow. In the years ahead we grew a business developing both the farm and guest accommodation for other to experience this special slice of rural landscape.  As time ran on at its ever increasing pace we found that the business grew by more than simply an additional income and redundancy presented an opportunity for us to take a leap of faith into me becoming both farmer and developer of our Farm Stay business.

Sue alongside our business venture has been my rock, ever driving forward with our common goals working full time Sue has enabled the business to take risks and embrace growth even in not for profit areas such as the building of our pig pen, lambing and development of our come grow with us part of the business, as we strongly believe that putting something back is just as important.  Just as with crops, you can’t just keep taking from the soil year on year without putting something back and even resting for  a while to limit the build up of pest and deseases, sometimes doing something completely different with the land.  So it comes full circle, farming brings with it new life new challenges and new opportunities, life is hard, but life is also full of wonder depending on how we play the cards we are delt, Great Britain has a Great Future, but as with soil, we all have to play our part in putting something back and not stripping it back to the point where it can give no more.

We still have some element of a farming industry left, so do whatever you can, pay a little more for milk, buy local whether direct from the farm or through your local farm shop and do all that you can to allow our children and the next generation to grow, loving food and knowing where it comes from. 

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Diversification nominee 2016


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