The common feeling I get is that for most, this past year has been one to forget.
Weird weather, natural disasters, international political upheaval and the loss of some of our most beloved musicians are just some of the things that have contributed to this annus horribilus.
In our sector we’ve had the dairy downturn, which we’re just starting to emerge from. Now, though, the weather is against dairy farmers and production has suffered.
Red meat producers watch while their industry does its usual act of promising and not delivering.
I spent a few days last week on Chatham Island. I talked to a farmer there for a story you can read in January.
I asked him how he coped with the many issues and problems he faced – gorse, weather, the cost of getting stock to market and machinery breakdowns.
He smiled and said: “I say to myself, just grow another lamb.” I guess it’s another way of enacting that often-said acronym — Keep It Simple, Stupid. Focus on what you know and do that well.
As always, this last issue of Farmers Weekly features our Land Champions as well as the latest agricultural news.
This year we’ve chosen a group who provide support to farmers. They’re the bankers, the politicians, the environmentalists and others without whom farmers would have no show. They keep us upright and they keep us honest.
So thanks for reading this year, we realise that not all of the news has been good, this year perhaps more than others. Thanks for all the letters, emails, phone calls and conversations.
This might have been a year to forget but hopefully, like us, you’ve learned some things that will help you flourish in 2017.