Sir, – I always read with great interest Jim Walker’s column. Mr Walker commands respect within the industry and people do hang on his every word – and words are important.

As such I must take issue with his assertion in the March 19 edition of this paper that 'victory will be defined by those who can survive the short term by battening down the hatches for long enough.' I believe both practically and morally that that is a dangerous sentiment that does no favours to Scottish agriculture

Mr Walker wrote that the few who survive would have a 'brighter future.' On the practical side, I would ask for how long will this bright future last?

We have all seen how volatile the operating environment is; how bright will the future of Scottish agriculture be with fewer operators? If you would like evidence of this, ask yourself how the processing sector is working for Scottish livestock farmers with only four or five significant players, or a similar number of significant retailers.

We need a critical mass to have a resilient thriving industry. When Mr Walker says 'long enough', surely he means 'strong enough' to weather this storm and get ready for the next because there will be one coming. We just have absolutely no idea when it is going to come and how strong it will be.

On the moral side, I find the premise that we are prepared to throw a significant number of family businesses and by extension families under a bus for a few to survive under such odds, just a bit cold-hearted.

More significantly maybe in my mind though, is how that phrase of 'battening down' sets us up individually and collectively as an industry in terms of our mindset. If we hunker down, there is a tendency to be inward looking and defensive rather than looking out and exploring new opportunities (and they will be there) and different operating practices (which exist).

I suspect we will all need to adapt our businesses like never before and that is difficult to do when the hatches are battened down.

As a final thought, when we took on our family farm nearly seven years ago under difficult circumstances, I really struggled. I struggled to see a way forward and my instinct was to try and weather it out and hope things got fairer.

However, I came across a podcast that unlocked more doors for me and still does, than the featured talking dog would credit. But one interview in particular has stuck.

The interviewee in question asserted that there are three types of folk in this world: Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what the hell just happened!

We must strive to be the first type. We need to be open, look up and look out to make things happen for ourselves, for our families, for our businesses and for our industry.

In short, our victory will be defined by coming out of this at the other end with a resilient, proactive industry with more control over its destiny.

Jock Gibson, Edinvale Farm, Dallas, Moray.