Step away from the farm….
Last week My Rural Tribe had the pleasure of doing the conference photography for the British Cattle Breeders Club Conference. It was so great to be at this 3 day conference and workshops, to meet old friends, make new friends, and to be inspired by fantastic informative talks from industry and hear from farmers, who have A LOT of passion for what they are doing!
It got me thinking though, what makes people attend a Conference and what are the benefits of attending a conference? Do those that attend conferences like this, broaden thier horizons more than those that don’t?
There was a wide mix of people in attendance, students, farmers, vets, industry and organisations, who all got involved on the first day, putting views across. The beauty of a good workshop means that everyone gets a go, to input, and ultimately feedback on thier thoughts, which is invaluable for those representing the industry.
Conversation and being able to voice your opinion is so important, to be given the time to speak, and more importantly, the time to think, is vital. Often we can get stuck in routine, be it on the farm or in the office, which can lead to us becoming narrow in our minds, because we have not had the stimulation from others, face to face, to share those views, our thoughts and opinions. To be heard has become a luxury…
Be brave… ask the question…
Bringing industry experts together in one place, is a fantastic opportunity, you get to hear about research that is being carried out, how this will influence your farm business, learn about new innovations and how to make positive, considerered decisions which will help your business become sustainable. I still think one of the bravest things to do at these things, is to put your hand up and ask the question… to you it may seem simple or irrelevant, to many it is what they wish they’d asked. When I used to teach I would encourage questions, often asking the most basic ones myself… to show that we all have questions and that we can all ask them. Only when we ask can we find the answer, only then we can make the informed decision.
I still think one of the best ways to learn and be inspired is from those that are like you, farmers, who have made changes, who have stepped away from something that wasn’t working, for them, and took a risk, took a leap of faith…. and made something new! I think quite often we look at those people and think they are different from us… that we could never do what they have done, but here is the thing.. they are just people, like us, but they made it happen, to better themselves, thier business and to make something that is sustainable. You could feel the passion that these speakers had for their farms and businesses, they were inspiring.
Talking to other farmers who had attended the conference, they were passionate about thier business, they were keen to learn about the science behind things, the WHY, the reasons it works, why it is needed, they were taking on the knowledge, they were being sponges, soaking it all in. It doesn’t mean they will implement all they heard, but now they can take it back to the farm and think about it, think about what else is there, think about the conversations they had, restart conversations with people they met.
By stepping away from the farm, be it to attend a sponsored on farm event, or to pay to attend a Conference, is only ever a good thing. Horizons will be broadened, conversations will inspire, opportunities will happen.
I came away feeling totally inspired by all I heard and from those I met. In this time of social media, it reminded me that the best conversations happen in person, that people are where it is at, not via the socials, yes we get the insight, but so much gets lost, so much negaitivty for the livestock industry. This Conference and the people in it, reminded me what a great industry we have, what great people those involved in it are, and that we are bloody fantastic!
Stop scrolling, put the phone down, and get yourself off farm…. get involved, get talking, be heard, be inspired, be outstanding!
Photography, Listener of thoughts, asker of questions, Writer of Blogs
I am Sian Mercer, the writer of these blogs, which are based on thoughts and ideas, quetions I have asked, feelings I have had and wonders which have been answered.
I am a photographer, please check out my website www.myruraltribe.com to see my work and book your own photoshoot, for your rural business or family.
If you would like to be part of my blogs please do Get In Touch! I would love to hear from you, visit your farm and hear all about what you are doing. Or if you have some ideas of who I should visit, please do let me know!