The summer show season is always a great time to catch up with news, meet up with friends and appreciate the magnificent display of livestock and other produce which show off the best of rural Scotland.
Mental health is a topic which has traditionally been swept under the carpet and rarely discussed openly, so it is welcome to see a change in attitude over the last few years with a number of prominent people talking publicly about their struggles with mental illness and government and rural organisations taking the subject seriously.
It is frequently said that farmers are price-takers rather than price-makers and farm profitability is affected by a range of circumstances beyond their control.
Late autumn is traditionally a time of farmers’ meetings – harvest work is (usually) finished, feeding of cattle is just starting, winter is not yet under way and farmers have the time and the inclination to go out and discuss agricultural and political matters with each other.
The summer shows are a great time for catching up with fellow farmers, hearing the latest gossip and discussing the issues of the day. Chat about the summer weather, livestock prices and the state of the crops usually predominate and this year was no different.
The pace of implementing the Ag Holdings section of the 2016 Lands Reform Act has been painfully slow and the timetable seems to be slipping by the month.
History has a habit of repeating itself and the debate of sheep versus trees is no exception.
There is a sense of unease beginning to emerge as livestock producers and processors begin to realise the potential damage which may be inflicted on the livestock industry as valuable sources of animal feedstuffs become diverted towards producing renewable energy from anaerobic digestion (AD) and biomass plants.