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In your field: Kate Beavan - 'Farmers are not good at taking time out'

It is hard not to feel anxious as we head into a Covid-19 winter, especially with all the uncertainties that Brexit is bringing.

Farming here continues and although there have been some financial hits due to the pandemic, we are still working and lucky to have access to the great outdoors on a daily basis.

 

I cannot stress how important it is to look out for each other and the community around you.

 

‘Covid fatigue’ is being used to describe the effect on the nation and mental health issues are rife. Please take some time out for yourself. I have learned this the hard way and I do not always practice what I preach.

 

It could be as simple as a walk or a soak in the bath. Making ‘me time’ a priority is something farmers are not good at, but it can reduce your stress levels if done on a regular basis.

 

There are many stresses on farms and the dreaded call came recently to inform us we had a sheep inspection with minimal notice.

 

It is a bit like when a police car starts following you when driving. Although you know you are not doing anything wrong, you feel the stress levels rising.

 

We passed and all went well. There was a full head count of sheep with no tagging issues.

 

Records were inspected, all were compliant and 70 randomly selected sheep had a thorough, detailed inspection, from the electronic reading of ear tags to the movement history through the records.

 

Hopefully it will be a few years before our next one.


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Last week I was interviewed by Ben Eagle for the Meet The Farmers podcast, a weekly show connecting farmers and listeners.

 

Communication is important in our profession and I was trying hard to sound upbeat after nine hours of
online teaching.

 

I have a bit of a reputation when it comes to talking, but I think I may have overcompensated for the tiredness. Who knew I could talk for 25 minutes without taking a breath?

 

Our cider house is a great place to alleviate stress. The whole process from collecting apples, pulping, pressing and tasting the fresh juice before pouring it into the barrels is therapeutic, not just sampling the wares.

 

It is a shame this is seasonal and we will miss the evening exercise (pulping and pressing) and the amazing smells around the barn.

 

Since making the decision to sell our cider we have been working with Cywain, which offers support to new businesses and established businesses that want to grow.

 

This week I am having a meeting with a Welsh designer who will help us create a logo and label. I am excited and will keep you updated.

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