Critical Mass

Old Tup

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’.
“Because if they don’t, there will be no-one left on the ground to deliver ‘public good’.”

Err that was the idea all along….
Comrade Putin may well after the thinking….
 

delilah

Member
The answer appears to be to form farm clusters to access the funding that is available to larger land managers etc.

I'm working on a short presentation on this

It can be very short presentation: It wont work.
To try and pretend that it would is dangerous in the extreme, as it will just be used by Defra as an excuse to plough on down their current trajectory.
You are talking about LNR ? How can a bunch of neighbouring farmers commit to any collaborative scheme when it is going to:
- Consume time they don't have, in return for peanuts.
- Devalue their farm, by attaching conditions to the land.
- A load of other reasons that make it a non starter if I was bored enough to think of them.
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
It can be very short presentation: It wont work.
To try and pretend that it would is dangerous in the extreme, as it will just be used by Defra as an excuse to plough on down their current trajectory.
You are talking about LNR ? How can a bunch of neighbouring farmers commit to any collaborative scheme when it is going to:
- Consume time they don't have, in return for peanuts.
- Devalue their farm, by attaching conditions to the land.
- A load of other reasons that make it a non starter if I was bored enough to think of them.
Well, it cannot be worse than the Severn Trent/ Agreena webinar I watched yesterday evening in the spirit of learning more about carbon credirs etc etc...

I am always open to new ideas and suggestions. However, I do tend to be fairly negative these days.... the free spirit I had in my 30s is long gone :)
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
Well, it cannot be worse than the Severn Trent/ Agreena webinar I watched yesterday evening in the spirit of learning more about carbon credirs etc etc...

I am always open to new ideas and suggestions. However, I do tend to be fairly negative these days.... the free spirit I had in my 30s is long gone :)
I watched a webinar a few months ago having submitted a couple of awkward questions. Having sat through a painful hour on the offchance one of my questions might be asked, I realised that these webinars are solely there to boost the egos of the participants. There wasn’t one single comment made by any of them in 60 minutes. Can’t believe anyone still watches them.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
I watched a webinar a few months ago having submitted a couple of awkward questions. Having sat through a painful hour on the offchance one of my questions might be asked, I realised that these webinars are solely there to boost the egos of the participants. There wasn’t one single comment made by any of them in 60 minutes. Can’t believe anyone still watches them.
Modern day "consultation" :rolleyes::mad:
 

Martin Holden

Member
Grassland Exhibitor
Location
Cheltenham
It will be to late by the time someone realises in Government what's been done to all the small efficient farms & supply chain , as @delilah has said have we reached that point?:unsure: we're certainly getting close to it.
Governments of all creeds don’t IMHO plan for the long term future, not even the mid term either. It’s a 4 year cycle - I wonder why?:banghead:
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
I watched a webinar a few months ago having submitted a couple of awkward questions. Having sat through a painful hour on the offchance one of my questions might be asked, I realised that these webinars are solely there to boost the egos of the participants. There wasn’t one single comment made by any of them in 60 minutes. Can’t believe anyone still watches them.
I asked 3 question before the Agreena "presentation". None were answered...

Bit like the DEFRA blogs, only positive comments and questions allowed.
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
Modern day "consultation" :rolleyes::mad:
The ONLY advantage I have ever found with webinars, is that I can have a glass of beer to hand, and can sneak off easily when my (rather low) boredom threshold kicks in.

So Ian, if you see some rough looking cove get up from your presentation next month in Herts, carrying an empty pint pot, that'll be me... ;)
 
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steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
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 .
I went round with my daughter last year, and we mapped all the services that run through and under the farm. I also have a plan to get her to digitise all the farm drainage maps we have, and bring the many, many maps together, into one entity using GIS. (It's her job doing this sort of thing!)

I am very aware that my knowledge base will disappear one day, and I'd like someone to have some useful record of what's here. Mind if it's all covered with houses. no one will give a damn...
 

SteveHants

Member
Livestock Farmer
I watched a webinar a few months ago having submitted a couple of awkward questions. Having sat through a painful hour on the offchance one of my questions might be asked, I realised that these webinars are solely there to boost the egos of the participants. There wasn’t one single comment made by any of them in 60 minutes. Can’t believe anyone still watches them.
Much as webinars are a bit limited, I wouldn't be expecting people to drive to Gloucestershire for 30 minutes on government schemes.....

I'm glad you said that though, because I do prefer teaching in person, than online - it's much more interactive.
Teaching is essentially what I do, and it seems, as an institution we are quite good at it (or, the student body seems to think we are):

https://www.hartpury.ac.uk/news/202...in-the-uk-for-lecturers-and-teaching-quality/
 
It's ethnic cleansing of peasant farmers:(

No it’s conning farmers into subsiding food production from their own diversifications. This has been the long term plan since Tony Blair was in power. Farms were urged to diversify and offered grants to do so. Then once those diversifications were up and running it’s then time to remove the food subsidies so the farmers then subsidise it themselves because they can’t get more for their produce due to world market prices.
Brexit has just brought it forward by about 7 yrs.
 

Martin Holden

Member
Grassland Exhibitor
Location
Cheltenham
No it’s conning farmers into subsiding food production from their own diversifications. This has been the long term plan since Tony Blair was in power. Farms were urged to diversify and offered grants to do so. Then once those diversifications were up and running it’s then time to remove the food subsidies so the farmers then subsidise it themselves because they can’t get more for their produce due to world market prices.
Brexit has just brought it forward by about 7 yrs.
You maybe right in this line of thought. I’m sure no politicians anywhere want to subsidise food production. The issue is they did following WW2 because they never wanted to see shortages and rationing again. There’s nothing as angry as a hungry man!
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
Much as webinars are a bit limited, I wouldn't be expecting people to drive to Gloucestershire for 30 minutes on government schemes.....

I'm glad you said that though, because I do prefer teaching in person, than online - it's much more interactive.
Teaching is essentially what I do, and it seems, as an institution we are quite good at it (or, the student body seems to think we are):

https://www.hartpury.ac.uk/news/202...in-the-uk-for-lecturers-and-teaching-quality/
Oooh, I dunno Steve, Presentation, then watch a game at Kingsholm*, have a pint afterwards. Sorted ;)

Mind the season is about over, so mebbe just a beer...






*I seem to recall having seen the name of the educational establishment you mentioned on Glos shirts.... :)
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
We shouldn't even be having this conversation about whatever dreamed up plan deathra have next.

You've had years to prepare for this. Market prices of all produce are rising.


Bin deathra and their funny money schemes off once and for all.
This. Leave DEFRA to help manage stuff like containment of disease, witness sheep dipping, monitoring imports etc.
 

delilah

Member
We shouldn't even be having this conversation about whatever dreamed up plan deathra have next.

You've had years to prepare for this. Market prices of all produce are rising.


Bin deathra and their funny money schemes off once and for all.

This. Leave DEFRA to help manage stuff like containment of disease, witness sheep dipping, monitoring imports etc.

Comments that would be relevant if we were talking about the withdrawal of public money from agricultural land.

We aren't, we are talking about the transfer of public money on agricultural land.

A transfer from those who need it the most and who deliver the best value for money - the small, family farm - to those who need it the least and deliver the worst value for money - the landed gentry, the quangos and the charities.

The public are going to be buying cattle and handling systems for the RSPB, whilst telling the family farm they need to stand on their own feet. It is immoral, it is unjustifiable, it is an abuse of public money, and @Janet Hughes Defra needs to have the guts to admit this and put a stop to the madness.
 

SteveHants

Member
Livestock Farmer
Oooh, I dunno Steve, Presentation, then watch a game at Kingsholm*, have a pint afterwards. Sorted ;)

Mind the season is about over, so mebbe just a beer...






*I seem to recall having seen the name of the educational establishment you mentioned on Glos shirts.... :)
It is indeed, both Gloucester and the Uni team train at work - Sadly the uni team are "only" in the Championship. The challenge for me would be finding a social team who can accommodate my level of crapness, which seems to be something of a challenge in these parts :ROFLMAO:

We do have an agritech centre that the presentation could take place in. Might record it from there.........
 

delilah

Member
Best you all give up now then if you are convinced that is what the future holds for UK agriculture?

With the withdrawal of public money many will have no choice. On the surface it will be a subtle change, they won't sell if they are owner occupiers, rather they will throw the gates in the hedge and let the 'last man standing' in the parish ranch it. So what ? Well, the thread is about critical mass. That's what.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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