"Waddling inside ... to be squeezed dry"

Bald Rick

Moderator
Livestock Farmer
Location
Anglesey
"... the milking cows in the field next door must waddle inside each night to be squeezed dry."

So runs a sentence in an opinion piece by Alice Thomson in yesterday's Times, buried in an article that was challenging the governments agenda by prioritising bills to protect pets (The Animal Welfare [Kept Animals] Bill) and the forthcoming trade agreement with Australia, a lead that is likely to allow USA & Brazil etc to carbon copy.

She makes very valid points vis:

"If we really care about animals and the environment we need to reinforce the trend that occurred naturally during lockdowns of eating more locally sourced produce, as well as eating less of it.

The big winners (of the push for rewilding) will be the rich donors (to the Tory Party) with expensive consultants reintroducing lynx and wolves on large estates and importing fillet steaks for the London clubs from thousands of miles away
"

The above we can all get behind but why that highly emotive sentence? Are farmers really perceived by Joe Public as scallies who squeeze dry everything at every opportunity?

Discuss
 

yellowbelly

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
N.Lincs
The tiny vocal minority of Joe Public probably think so (the tiny proportion that read the Times and the Guardian etc).

The vast majority of Joe Public don't give a stuff - all they want is their food cheaper than they bought it for last week, regardless of where it comes from or how it is produced.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
If “squeezing dry” means getting every litre of milk you can, every grain of wheat, every sugar beet, every lamb, every wisp of hay then yes we do that, because if we don’t do that we waste the resources used to produce those products and waste is very bad for the environment and my ability to earn enough to live on from a smallish area of land.

I can see the agenda that rich Tory donors are likely to benefit most from the way government funding is going. Funding will be used to embellish country amenity estates ( in fact it already has been doing that for about 30 years) with the features these folk see as desirable : rewilding, herbaceous borders, and that kind of extravagance that you believe to be a good thing when you already have loads of money, don’t need to earn a living, don’t give a stuff about whether food supplies are either secure, sustainable or affordable and couldn’t care less about rural communities, seeing them as a hindrance to the expansion of your sporting estate.
 

GeorgeK

Member
Location
Leicestershire
Everything goes in and out of fashion over time and I do believe farming is going through a low patch in terms of public sentiment at the moment. Subsidies were our guilty secret but recent events have dragged them into the open for all to see, compounded by the pointless lump sum retirement scheme making front page news for all the wrong reasons. I think the realisation of how much taxpayer money farmers have been getting over the years has gone down worse with your average Joe Blogs on the street than the environmental side of things.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
If “squeezing dry” means getting every litre of milk you can, every grain of wheat, every sugar beet, every lamb, every wisp of hay then yes we do that, because if we don’t do that we waste the resources used to produce those products and waste is very bad for the environment and my ability to earn enough to live on from a smallish area of land.
Isn't that part of the problem? Many farms seem to maximise production when they would be better off if they optimised it?

The "we must feed the world" fallacy has been destructive to UK farm sustainability.

Also your idea of a "smallish area of land" is a country estate to a townie and probably 20 big farms to a horticultural grower.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
Everything goes in and out of fashion over time and I do believe farming is going through a low patch in terms of public sentiment at the moment. Subsidies were our guilty secret but recent events have dragged them into the open for all to see, compounded by the pointless lump sum retirement scheme making front page news for all the wrong reasons. I think the realisation of how much taxpayer money farmers have been getting over the years has gone down worse with your average Joe Blogs on the street than the environmental side of things.
Do you think so? Most folk I've engaged with are actually pretty positive about British farmers. Woefully ignorant about farming, but pretty positive about it.

We (the farming industry) HAVE to engage with our public more.
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
Do you think so? Most folk I've engaged with are actually pretty positive about British farmers. Woefully ignorant about farming, but pretty positive about it.

We (the farming industry) HAVE to engage with our public more.
Completely agree with this, and it’s my experience also. However, the people I tend to engage with either live locally or have chosen to come here on holiday. The much larger number are city and estate dwelling individuals who have far less knowledge or interest in where their food comes from and are therefore far more easily influenced either on price or misinformation.
 

delilah

Member
We (the farming industry) HAVE to engage with our public more.
Completely agree with this, and it’s my experience also. However, the people I tend to engage with either live locally or have chosen to come here on holiday. The much larger number are city and estate dwelling individuals who have far less knowledge or interest in where their food comes from and are therefore far more easily influenced either on price or misinformation.
There is a huge opportunity with ELMS public engagement money to get folks educated. Not by putting up interpretation boards for Sian and Piers when walking the Labrador, but by getting every inner city kid on a coach trip to a farm. Will Defra get that bit of ELMS right though ?
 

Chris F

Staff Member
Media
Location
Hammerwich
"As well as eating less of it" WTF?!?
Population is still growing rapidly and meat production can't match this increase, if increase at all. So its a fact that "everyone" will have to eat less meat on average. But as with all things its unlikely to effect the rich countries who have a well trodden history of importing what the need from others (who probably need it more).
 

bluebell

Member
the biggest problem i see with farming and the general public is that only a couple of generations ago the country population was either actively involved with farming or had people they knew in it or been in it ? now the countryside, or whats left of it, because around here its rapidly shrinking ? is not, in fact most farming is a nuisance to the vast population of the countryside dwellers today, hence lies the problem ?
 

le bon paysan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Limousin, France
Do you think so? Most folk I've engaged with are actually pretty positive about British farmers. Woefully ignorant about farming, but pretty positive about it.

We (the farming industry) HAVE to engage with our public more.
You need one of these... Normally have over 700,000 visitors.
https://en.salon-agriculture.com/
The mass media play an important role in publicising the show, with stands taken by Public Sénat, Campagne TV, France 3 and France Ô[12] Visits by the French President, and the leaders of the French political parties, is usually covered. Politicians take the opportunity to reach out to the general public to debate the issues of the day, in an attempt to seem more "down to earth" , and improve their party image.[13]

The media coverage also increases the importance of the show in the public mind, and it is keenly followed by the public. Because of this, it has become an event of international importance. It allows the French government to present the best of its agricultural sector to its European neighbours and its views on maintaining the Common Agricultural Policy, which is very important for subsidising French farmers and for many years has also paid farmers to help protect the rural environment.[14
 

Could a ‘Meat Tax’ be on the cards in the UK?

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Written by Richard Halleron from Agriland

The latest machination coming from the so-called ‘opinion formers’, who seem to have the ear of government advisors in London, is the introduction of a ‘Meat Tax’ at consumer level.

This approach, it is argued, would have the combined impact of reducing meat consumption levels (I can really see the health benefits coming through now), while also helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of production agriculture.

What absolute drivel! In my opinion, none of this makes sense at any level. This is a scurrilous and unfounded attack on livestock farming in this part of the world.

Yet, it has to be taken seriously. I make this point because economists at Rothamsted Research have already crunched the numbers where the introduction of a ‘UK...
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