ANYONE with leaving drinks planned for this Friday will be hugely disappointed. No matter where your vote sat on the ballot paper in the EU referendum, I think unarguably both sides can agree we’re in somewhat of a mess. In a country now widely divided, our elected government have managed to reach an impasse with a proposed deal that no-one really supports or wants.

But here I am, I have fallen into the trap I try my upmost to avoid - having an opinion on the current political climate but fear not, any muses I have here today are guaranteed to be irrelevant by the time this goes to print, and a distant memory when the paper reaches the chip shop counter.

It’s only when we look backwards we truly appreciated in full technicolour of the drama that’s unfolded over the last 2 years, a plot line I’m sure even Stephen Spielberg would’ve laughed off as farcical. We are where we are. It’s the 29th of March, the “PGI” free sparkling wine chilled ready for leaving day, the big reveal, the cliff edge or as I saw it 2 years ago - the massive opportunity. The reality unfortunately is we haven’t a clue what lies ahead of us, the uncertainty continues to hang over us like a long winter. I’m with the Prime Minister when she made her controversial speech last week - we are all fed up!

All that said, the day job must go on. We’ve been blessed with an early spring in the south west, a far contrast to the miserable cold and wet that dragged into early May last year. Work is progressing well with crops and grass off to a head start, long may that continue. In the coming months demand for food will not wain, the way it is produced or what is on our land may however and it is important that businesses can adapt to meet these requirements.

This week would have been Normal Bourlag’s 105th birthday, undoubtedly one of the individuals behind the last agricultural revolution, so it seems fitting to consider my take home message delivered by a speaker at the Oxford Farming Conference just three months ago - “we are at the beginning of a Fourth Agricultural Revolution”. It’s not hard to believe when you look around. Automation and data are king within the agricultural sector but currently we trail behind other industries such as automobile and internet giants. I ponder what is stopping us leading the change, whatever the environment we must find ourselves pushing forward.

Our “tool box” is bursting with technology such as GM, gene editing and plant protection products – all allowing agriculture to become more efficient, productive and environmentally friendly. And yet our hands have been tied not by scientists who work tirelessly to support our industry, but more worryingly by a relatively small number of passionate environmental groups who are influencing political decisions. The tools are at our disposal, we just need to be trusted to use them with public knowledge that we are doing so in a safe and practical manner.

The UK has a history of excellent research and development with institutes such as SRUC, James Hutton and Moredun. We must ensure short sightedness and misinformed decisions don’t leave us missing the boat when it comes to the next big steps.

Holland is an example of a country that is using every opportunity to their advantage with their focus on precision allowing positive advancements and all with political support. They are now world leaders in both food production and environmental standards and are continuing to impress other countries with their welcoming approach to visitors. In mid-May, I will be joining a learning journey organised by Scottish Enterprise and the Rural Youth Project to look at how they are bridging the gap between the urban and rural communities, and the role that agriculture must play. A visit to a carbon-neutral chicken farm captured my interest as our milk is supplied to Arla and their commitment to reducing carbon emission by 2050 is something I feel we should all be working towards. We have already made a big step in the reduction of medicines, it is important we continue to value the consumer concerns and where realistically possible to do so, mitigate them. Another visit is to a floating dairy in Rotterdam harbour - I am not so sure this is something we will be embracing on the waters of Wigtown Bay but you never know!