2021: March to the beat of your own drum

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Charters Towers grazier Kylie Stretton.

Charters Towers grazier Kylie Stretton.

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Ah, the New Year, time for a fresh start, a book of 365 blank pages to fill with experiences and learning. While resolutions are a bit cliché, this time of y...

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Ah, the New Year, time for a fresh start, a book of 365 blank pages to fill with experiences and learning.

While resolutions are a bit cliché, this time of year is no doubt a good time to take some moments to reflect on the past year and recognise how you'd like to do things differently for the coming year.

One thing that gets my goat, is seeing farmers bagging out other production methods or industries.

Grainfed beef bagging chicken or pork for their grain consumption, organic egg bagging non-organic beef for apparently causing cancer by not being organic, wool bagging cotton for their water usage.

The list goes on and you get my drift.

This is something I know I have been guilty of in the past, and is something I want to make a conscious effort not to do.

Every industry, and every production method in that industry has its own positives and negatives.

Not one is a silver bullet. In Australia, we are extremely fortunate to have a whole range of methods, and produce as both consumers and farmers that suit our own individual values, needs and circumstance.

There are bad operators in each method, ones that the whole industry are judged by, there's no doubt about that.

But as you know you, I'm fond of saying "You can't influence someone by alienating them".

Surely as farmers, no matter what our chosen production method, we should all be confident (but not too arrogant that we're not learning and evolving as we go) enough that what we do is striving for best practice without needing to put someone else down to make ourselves look better?

All farmers face similar challenges, with poor policy and lack of understanding being up there with the weather.

If we continue to step on each other to make our own self feel better, these challenges are just going to get harder for all of us. So, in 2021, I'm going to focus on marching to the beat of my own drum, and you do you.

May 2021 be a year of perfect weather, good prices and effective policy for all of us.

But more importantly, may 2021 be the year someone invents hand sanitiser that is kind to flood-fencing-ravaged hands.

- Charters Towers grazier Kylie Stretton

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