A learning curve is something whereby improvements to mental capacity via experience have the ability to steadily and sustainably (that word again!) speed up one’s work day; sports abilities; play time ... you name it.

It’s something that farmers excel at. They are good at adapting to circumstances – often beyond their control – and making them ‘work’ for them. But perhaps they are facing one of their biggest challenges when faced with the seemingly endless onslaught of ‘advice’, pronouncements of authority on any given ‘rural’ topic, and none of them more so than some of the bile that comes from the rewilding, environmental, vegan and animal welfare brigades (REVAW?).

It is a challenge that will certainly flatten the knowledge ‘curve’ for the farming industry. Adept as they are at facing up to weather threats, pestilence and disease, we all find at times that there can be no arguing with some who have already entrenched themselves in their views, with a full body armour of righteousness. There’s always been a propensity within the industry to trust ‘the government’ to see reason, but that’s a long gone hope and was always a fickle want in any case.

We have to understand that many in government and much of the general media buys into some of the arguments against farming. You all spread pesticides willy-nilly; hormones are regularly used in livestock production; and farmers regularly kill wildlife in a wholesale manner. So, no one is fighting your corner on this. That leaves it up to you.

The ties that the general public once had to the land are now so threadbare as to be no longer tethering any sensibilities regarding food production. Food comes from Tesco (other supermarkets are available) and that’s just about it ... or is it?

There’s a growing sense that the pandemic of Covid-19 has made many people re-evaluate their lives. More and more of them want to move out of the cities and back to the countryside in a reversal of 18th and 19th century socio-economic movement and so there’s an opportunity here for agriculture to inform and gain the respect of an important middle ground of voters – and, after all, it’s votes that count.

Many people have seen what country people have – freedom to roam, quality local food, a nice environment and increasingly reliable and fast broadband connectivity (though we have all heard of some communities dead against improving mobile phone and broadband signals, the reasoning being that ‘we’ and the ‘people who come here’ like the solitude of the area – which can be gained at the push of button on the side of that thing that runs your life and could also save it in an emergency!).

So, there’s an increasingly important demographic group moving back to the country and, leaving the rising house values which price locals out of the market and holiday home owners aside (for another argument!), for want of a better expression, these should be easy meat for a reasoned debate on food production.

Therefore, when someone new comes into your area be sure to get to them and make the argument that sometimes you cannot see the food for the trees.