Happy New Year everybody, let’s hope it is a ripper for us all.
As usual 2016 started off with my annual trip to visit my brothers at Nelson Bay -10 days of beach fun, skiing for the girls, sunburn (even though I never sunbake and always put on sunscreen), plenty of good food, great company and a bit of shopping.
I also spent a fair bit of time running, riding and swimming because I competed in my first ever triathalon in Echuca the day after I got home - 700m swim, 20km ride and a 5km run. It was tough but I made it and I might regret saying this but I don’t think it will be my last either. It is quite an addictive sport.
For many people, though, January also means one thing and that’s Dairy Week -and what a week it was.
This year like every year I was blown away by the quality of cattle on show – across all breeds. And the dedication of the strappers and handlers as they primped and preened these beautiful animals and the pride in the eyes of the owners as their beloved animals were paraded around the ring.
IDW certainly proves one thing and that is dairy farmers love their cows. It also provides an opportunity for farmers to get together, network and forget about the problems at home for a short time. And in a tough season like this, that is so very important.
Dairy Week does so much for the dairy industry and is always a great event to attend. It also provides a great cow fix for those who are no longer farming.
As I travel around and listen to farmers talk I am always amazed by their resilience in tough times, the passion they have for the job and their unwavering faith in the belief that things will be better next season.
That’s not to say I am not concerned by how hard it is for some and I do hope that people continue to remember that help is only a phone call away if things do get too tough.
I urge people to contact rural counselors, and from personal experience I can say they provide a great service. Sometimes getting someone from outside your business to have a look at things might be all you need.
Since Christmas we have had a couple of good rainfall events in Echuca - 11mm and 35mm - and while they have been great for my garden I would much prefer it fell on farming land. There is nothing like a good rain to boost confidence and settle the dust that is always horrendous at this time of year.
I have fingers, toes and everything crossed for an early autumn break this year because we certainly need it.