Saturday, 15 November 2014

Is your milk tanker half full or half empty? Report on Northern Farmers Conference in Hexham

Wednesday saw hundreds of farmers and connected businesses descend on to the Hexham Auction Mart to hear a number of speeches, Q&A and get an understanding of the approach of the new Secretary of State for DEFRA, Liz Truss, the South Norfolk MP. Liz was excellent in setting out the ways in which the department is now trying to help farmers and food producers, rather than hinder them; she will continue to bang the drum for British farming and produce, and is clearly well engaged in the Brussels negotiations on everything from reform of the 3 crop rule to biotech. She spoke well on the earned recognition scheme and her efforts, following on from the robust Owen, to cut the Defra regulations unless they really matter.  

However, I have to mention the brilliant speech of dairy farmer Joe Delves - author of the half full milk tanker quote. His talk was part homespun wisdom, part confessions of a dairy farmer and thrown in were everything from Warren Buffet to a masterclass on Farming 101.

A couple of insights:
What can't farmers control?
- world markets
- weather
- milk price
- staff
- cows!

What they can control is
Vision - where do you want to be?
Values - don't expand at the cost of time together with your family.
Attitude - do you say I can't or how can I?

A couple of great quotes: "a cows performance is just a reflection on what she eats - your mind is just the same"

"Be around positive people and you will become positive"
A really interesting day.