Critical Mass

delilah

Member
To paraphrase some recent posts on here:
‘The EA staff aren’t what they were. Can’t even hang a gate properly.’
‘The vets aren’t what they were. I seem to know more than they do.’
‘The Defra staff aren’t what they were. Just don’t understand the practicalities.’
‘The Ag colleges aren’t what they were. Crying out for lecturers with practical experience.’

My late uncle worked for the EA, before that the NRA. He also had a farm. Not a big one, but big enough for him to keep his hand in and to pass on skills to my cousins should they wish to use them in later life. Through the centralist food system policies we have rigorously pursued in recent decades, we have managed to wipe out tens of thousands of such farms. The repercussions are everywhere. Less and less people have the skills and knowledge required to keep the countryside running.

There are people who will tell you that it doesn’t matter. That it is the free market at work. That skills die out because they are no longer needed. They are wrong. They should talk to my colleague working her socks off developing a business based on wool. A business that is all of a sudden highly relevant in a World waking up to the dangers of micro-plastics. She is having to train people from a standing start. All of the skills she needs are in the churchyard. Look at the work the RBST have done with breeds that were deemed no longer relevant but are now once again relevant. As it is with livestock, and seed varieties, so it is with skills.

ELMS as it stands is going to turbo charge the loss of critical mass in UK agriculture. Any individual, any organisation that sees the folly of this, needs to put whatever effort they can into getting Defra to see sense. Because if they don’t, there will be no-one left on the ground to deliver ‘public good’.
 
One cannot argue with your post.

I look at my own cirumstances and wonder where the expertise I have aquired over my lifetime, much of it from other workers of the land both here and elsewhere, many now dead, can be replicated for this farm.

Blueprint, large scale agri-business is not the panacea some proponents make it out to be, certainly not in this new world we are going to be entering.
 
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Grass And Grain

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorks
Can't particularly see market prices changing (as we are affected by ability to trade imports/exports). So near neighbours in EU will possibly get more sub than us = tricky.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
It’s going the cooperate way. You can see this as you wade your way through the RT treacle of processes, risk assessments and records. Made to satisfy desk bound management and zombie employees, or so you would think by reading it. No room any more for nouse or common sense. Folks can’t tell if a heap of grain is heating up unless they’ve got a temperature probe complete with calibration record. We just stick our hands in the heap and we know.
This is where the huge disjoint lies. Can’t see much changing for the better TBH. Self reliance, being able to strip things down and mend them etc, it’s all going. Over zealous health and safety isn’t helping. Heavy handed applications of regulations is bogging us one or two man or woman bands down. Is anybody listening? No. So they’ll lose everything that’s good about rural communities.
 

silverfox

Member
Location
Shropshire
One cannot argue with your post.

I look at my own cirumstances and wonder where the expertise I have aquired over my lifetime, much of it from other workers of the land both here and elsewhere, many now dead, can be replicated for this farm.

Blueprint, large scale agri-business is not the panacea some proponents make it out to be, certainly not in this new world we are going entering.
I think the same. Take drainage for example . I’ve old maps and experience of this farms drainage systems, passed down since grandad came here in 1939. We’ve had a number of different landlords and their agents since then, who wouldn’t have a clue where to look for the wells and junctions . Similarly with the land on this estate that’s let on FBT. I just see the latest incumbents going around ever bigger wet holes. No one seems bothered about the knowledge being passed onto the next tenant or generation .
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I mean really is all this tick box quality assurance really better than days of old when for example the potato merchant knew exactly who produced quality spuds and who didn’t? Dad used to grow a few and tried to sell to merchants. He’d phone them up, they’d ask where he farmed, and when he told them they’d put the phone down. They knew the sand here produced scabby rubbish 8 years out of 10 which were useless for the ware trade. That was quality assurance in action!
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I think the same. Take drainage for example . I’ve old maps and experience of this farms drainage systems, passed down since grandad came here in 1939. We’ve had a number of different landlords and their agents since then, who wouldn’t have a clue where to look for the wells and junctions . Similarly with the land on this estate that’s let on FBT. I just see the latest incumbents going around ever bigger wet holes. No one seems bothered about the knowledge being passed onto the next tenant or generation .
Indeed drainage maps are one of the most critical documents on the farm. We’d be finished without them, but as you say folk don’t want to know.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
What can we do though? I’ve no successors. Nephew and niece maybe interested but not sure. Give a lad or lass a chance. Let them have the cattle shed and get on with it, doing what I can. They can use our straw. We can use the muck but they deal with the cattle enterprise which I’m no expert at.
My grandfather trained loads of lads who went in to better jobs but in those days you vould run an HGV under some sort of farmers licence then it all became quite difficult. Some lads went on to become directors of large machinery main dealers. How do folk get started now?
 

CornishTone

Member
Location
Cornwall
I spoke to a chap the other day who spent 20 years in the RPA and recently came home to run the family farm (poacher turned game keeper.. or the other way round).

He is convinced ELMS and all its spin offs are being set up to fail. Government want rid of the hassle and cost of paying farmers. If they make the scheme unworkable and financially unacceptable, uptake will be low enough to wash their hands of it. They can then put what ever aspects of it they want into legislation rather than make it voluntary. If they use the stick, it's easier to make the industry pay them through fines!

He also reckons Red tractor is already being lined up to work as a sort of privatised regulator to keep whoever's left in line with increased access to market schemes.

Just one mans opinion of course but, a man with something of an insight into the inner workings of the machine. I've no idea if he's right... I hope he's a crazy conspiracy theorist but think of all those small family farms going up for sale, ripe for tree planting and prime carbon offsetting territory for the big corporates to wipe their arses on! Fewer farmers and more trees! Boris and Carries wet dream!!!
 

Bogweevil

Member
To paraphrase some recent posts on here:
‘The EA staff aren’t what they were. Can’t even hang a gate properly.’
‘The vets aren’t what they were. I seem to know more than they do.’
‘The Defra staff aren’t what they were. Just don’t understand the practicalities.’
‘The Ag colleges aren’t what they were. Crying out for lecturers with practical experience.’

My late uncle worked for the EA, before that the NRA. He also had a farm. Not a big one, but big enough for him to keep his hand in and to pass on skills to my cousins should they wish to use them in later life. Through the centralist food system policies we have rigorously pursued in recent decades, we have managed to wipe out tens of thousands of such farms. The repercussions are everywhere. Less and less people have the skills and knowledge required to keep the countryside running.

There are people who will tell you that it doesn’t matter. That it is the free market at work. That skills die out because they are no longer needed. They are wrong. They should talk to my colleague working her socks off developing a business based on wool. A business that is all of a sudden highly relevant in a World waking up to the dangers of micro-plastics. She is having to train people from a standing start. All of the skills she needs are in the churchyard. Look at the work the RBST have done with breeds that were deemed no longer relevant but are now once again relevant. As it is with livestock, and seed varieties, so it is with skills.

ELMS as it stands is going to turbo charge the loss of critical mass in UK agriculture. Any individual, any organisation that sees the folly of this, needs to put whatever effort they can into getting Defra to see sense. Because if they don’t, there will be no-one left on the ground to deliver ‘public good’.

It is more a reflection of the age of TFF users - to older people nothing is like it was. In fact everything is pretty much the same except that so many people are younger and not just policemen. When we old lot shuffle off into retirement and let younger people get on with it everything will get better.
 

Vader

Member
It is more a reflection of the age of TFF users - to older people nothing is like it was. In fact everything is pretty much the same except that so many people are younger and not just policemen. When we old lot shuffle off into retirement and let younger people get on with it everything will get better.
Who going to get on with it when all the skills are gone?
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
It is more a reflection of the age of TFF users - to older people nothing is like it was. In fact everything is pretty much the same except that so many people are younger and not just policemen. When we old lot shuffle off into retirement and let younger people get on with it everything will get better.
I tend to agree, every generation thinks the one following is less talented, but they're fine, maybe just skilled in different things.
My house was built in the 70's, according to TFF it would have been built by skilled craftsmen with years of experience that you just don't find anymore but it wasn't, it was built by muppets. Just this morning I've found problems with the way the roof was built, I always seem to be fixing the last generations feck up's, I suspect my kids will fix mine.
There are skilled people about today and there are useless people. Its always been the same.
 

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