I find myself writing my final In Your Field article. There is a lot of change on the horizon for 2021 in farming and in my own life and, although I will miss the writing, it is time for someone new to stretch their grey matter after a Christmas to remember, if possibly not for the right reasons.
With Kent looking like a hotspot for contagion in Tier 4, it shall certainly be a quiet festive period at home, which I am personally grateful for although I fully appreciate how troubling it must be for so many people not to be able to make arrangements with family.
I really worry for the stress and toll on everyone’s health and wellbeing at this difficult time. With the gyms now closed I will have to start mud-running to keep the mind strong and the body moving.
Sheep work is pretty quiet, with the rams moved back to their bachelor paddock and ewes moved to better grazing ahead of scanning next month.
I will not be going to New Zealand shearing until this time next year, when hopefully some semblance of normality is restored.
Some winter shearing here and planning several exciting projects for next year will keep me occupied for now.
I am grateful for the gentle time at home this Christmas; a time to reflect on a tumultuous year and the grace to leave it behind and look ahead.
Looking back to my first article in July 2016, four years seem to have gone very quickly indeed. That first article was written soon after the Brexit referendum and all this time later we find ourselves poised on the precipice of a no-deal or just-scraped-through deal scenario.
Change is on its way and I wish everyone the best in their farming businesses going forward.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s about knowing ourselves, cherishing our family and friends, growing connections around us and showing what British farmers do best. And of course knowing when to press the mute button on conference calls.
We will certainly appreciate social gatherings again when they are back on the agenda.
Speaking of agendas, I promise not to grumble at having to attend committee meetings in person, but long live Zoom and all who use it.
I do hope that some agricultural shows find their feet again this coming year, as we all need to take the pressure off for a while and enjoy some better times ahead.