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From the editor: Change is not easy but the rewards can be rich

Change is not always an easy thing for individuals or businesses to achieve, even if the potential rewards are huge.

Change is not always an easy thing for individuals or businesses to achieve, even if the potential rewards are huge.

 

This is no different for farming and is sometimes made more difficult by the fact change goes against the plans and practices of generations of the same family.

 

Yet the benefits can be significant and, as Andrew and Claire Brewer reveal on their own farm, the intake of new ideas, plans and people can transform a business and a way of life.

 

Their story is one of being open to new farming concepts from around the world. Facilitated by travel and then a Nuffield scholarship, Mr Brewer was able to tap in to new ways of doing things and ultimately overhaul the way he farmed. What they do might not suit everyone, but it certainly seems to be working for them.

 

The challenge of changing mindsets, however, can be a tough one. Individuals, be they those at the top of the farm or the workers, can often see change as a threat to their livelihoods or as a burden requiring energy they no longer have. Bringing about that shift in attitude can be tough, and Mr Brewer’s attention to detail with his staff is something he believes is central to the business.

 

It is also not possible for every farmer to get off the farm for long periods of time, either due to financial or staffing constraints. The benefits, however, can be vast, and the ability to see first-hand different farming systems elsewhere in the UK or overseas can have an enlightening effect on those running the business.

 

Encountering new ideas and new people, or simply the reassurance others with the same passion for the industry are facing the same challenges you are, can be the biggest boost of all.

 

An openness to change could be key for farmers to take control of their own fortunes in a business environment in which the pressures are only mounting.

 

And finally, Bovine TB’s march northwards shows the need for hard heads and tough decisions in the corridors of power if this awful disease is going to be vanquished.

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