Uncertainty surrounds us - we need to talk
The new year is a time for reflection on where we are and where we are going.
Uncertainty faces every rural business.
Brexit brings about the departure from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which has underpinned the fabric of our rural society for the last 45 years.
In a rural county such as Lincolnshire, with such a strong food production and processing base, this will probably affect almost every individual, community and business.
We need to help shape the future of the food industry. If we do not, it will be shaped for us from London by ill-informed politicians and their advisors, with more interest in their popularity at the ballot box and by aggressive Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) pushing single agenda policies
How do we help shape our futures?
As individuals, we need to communicate our wishes to those around us, especially to influencers such as our MPs.
The process involves a re-engagement with our local communities. Time is precious as farmers try and do more with less resource. The farming community needs to break out of this head-down approach and improve interaction with the local community either in the pub, at church, in local and regional councils, at schools or bringing schools onto farm or the general public on Open Farm Sunday.
We also need to work with our representative bodies like the NFU to engage at the highest Government levels to put across our key messages and not be distracted by the confusion of noise around us.
Lincolnshire’s rural economy will have a bright future but only if we all make it happen in 2019 and beyond as individuals and as groups of farmers.