We recently celebrated the closing of our local school.
It was a fantastic event, with several generations of local families coming together to share memories of their primary school days.
Celebrating the end of an institution that had been at the heart of our community for five generations might seem like a contradiction, but the school’s closing signified the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
The school, Willowbank, had been teaching local primary school children for 20 years – but was the amalgamation of two schools that had a much longer history: Waikaka Valley, which ran for 130 years, and Maitland school, which ran for 120 years.
The roles of these local schools very much reflect the changing nature of rural communities and the decision to close Willowbank was based upon what would be in the best interests of our local children.
Change is a constant
The celebrations certainly got me thinking about how change is a constant in all of our lives.
While we can’t do anything about that, we can choose how we react to it – whether we embrace it or fight against it. As long as change results in positive outcomes, then I believe it should be embraced.
The same can be said of our farming businesses and the broader industry. As farmers we are always dealing with change, whether it be climate, markets, technologies or regulatory requirements.
Embracing positive change
As long as we are confident that the changes we are making are in the best interests of our businesses and industry, then we should try to look upon change as positive.
If regulatory changes result in a safer, healthier workplace and environment, then they are worth embracing. If changing our farm system makes us more profitable, then it is certainly worth doing.
Improving our business
At Beef + Lamb New Zealand, we are always running a critical eye over our business – and our Research & Development activities, and Market Development, are under review at the moment.
Our job is to ensure that any changes we do make in any of these areas are ultimately in the best interests of our levy payers.
I am happy to discuss any of this with you when I make my annual director consultation rounds in a couple of months. Keep an eye on the e-Diary for details.
Andrew Morrison is Beef + Lamb New Zealand's Southern South Island farmer director. You can contact him on 027 6644 620.