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From the editor: Farming’s resilience is often to the fore in times of crisis 

Spring waits in the wings, for now at least.


Ben   Briggs

Ben   Briggs

While the weather for many has thankfully turned this week, lambing, spring calving and arable fieldwork were all hit by the Beast from the East in a blast of cold weather that no one needed.

 

As is often the case, the bad weather served to highlight the crucial role farmers play in their local communities as they took to clearing roads and allowing people to go about their daily lives as normal.

 

What a shame, however, that for many urban residents it is only in times of such crisis that they acknowledge that farmers exist at all.

 

The resilience and adaptability of our farming communities should never be in doubt.

 

Whether it is moving swiftly to dig sheep out of snowdrifts or leading drivers to safety, they are scenarios many will have faced before and ones which drew praise from people for whom agriculture is not always a key consideration.


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One of the most interesting comments I saw throughout the storms was whether the same motorists who were pulled from snowdrifts would stay calm if they found themselves stuck behind a tractor or combine during silage and harvest? We live in hope.

 

Springing in to action to help communities is a very visible form of farmers lending a helping hand, but I am sure many would wish to see the same appreciation for the day-to-day grind of food production and the task of feeding the nation.

 

Empty supermarket shelves and supply chains brought to a grinding halt by the snow served to highlight that food is not something that should be taken for granted, although it often is.

 

The past 10 days has shown that the majority of the public appreciate the role farmers play and have no axe to grind against them, it is just that, as industry, we are not always on the front foot when it comes to promoting what we do.

 

That needs to change so it is not just times of crises when the nation wakes up to the role our farmers play.

 

And finally, share farming might not be for everyone, but the fascinating working dynamic between three farmers in Yorkshire shows it can offer solutions. Click here to read.

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