Annoyance, anger and fear have all been emotions which have stalked the farming industry as the debate over climate change has intensified over the past decade.
It has been an ongoing soundtrack to farming life in recent years and this week, with the Government’s pledge to bring forward its carbon targets to 2035, it has once again ratcheted up, as the pages of Farmers Guardian testify.
But, as In Your Field writer Charles Bruce so succinctly explains many of you have simply had enough of the ongoing attacks on an industry you love and a job you are proud to carry out. Such feelings are more than justified because, as the debate about sustainability intensifies, the voice of farming seems to be drowned out by a vocal minority of activists and an entrenched green agenda.
So while brickbats fly, it is easy to feel that we are in an industry under attack, not one which is stood on the cusp of huge opportunity. But for those willing to keep cool heads and develop their strategies, there will be significant commercial and environmental options in the coming years as governments provide further details about just how these plans will be implemented, while at the same time keeping a growing population fed.
As lockdown has shown, the British public is far from turning its back on the staples of their daily lives, be that meat, milk or other traditional foodstuffs, and added to that you have a renewed desire to experience the countryside, which presents opportunities for those savvy enough to take them, as this week’s diversification special shows.
There will also be a range of options for farmers seeking to sequester carbon or enable large corporate organisations to offset their carbon footprints via agricultural investment; all of which should play into farming’s hands, albeit while challenging some of the traditional notions of what it means to be a farmer. Beyond the caterwauling of a small minority of privileged activists, there are huge opportunities ahead for agriculture if you can drown out the noise.