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A WORD FROM … Graeme Engelbrecht

October 2020

These are uncertain times. Planning for the coming season has definitely been difficult. Did you manage to get financial support, are the needed supplies available and are you ready for the new season?

We have become complacent in this world, relying on doing it the same way over and over again, finding comfort in that that is familiar, not liking it when it changes, resisting, even fighting the change… Until that which has changed has become the new norm, then the cycle begins again, doing it the same ‘new’ way over and over again.

With this global pandemic we hear those words a lot lately, ‘the new norm’. That is because there has been a massive shift in the way the world works, and it may never go back to how it was. The people that survive in any changing world are those that can adapt quickest and best to those changes. It often feels as if some expected it, they adapt so fast!

How adaptable are you and your business? What can we do to make ourselves more adaptable? Is it merely an attitude, is it age related (it often feels so?), is it socio-economic circumstance, is it where you farm or what you farm with that makes you more vulnerable? 

All of the above and many more factors do contribute to how adaptable you can be. Farming is a business that likes constants and we tend to set our whole being on that constant. Planting dates, crop selection, agronomical practices, financial sourcing and so the list can go on.

You need to evaluate what has made YOU vulnerable and what can YOU change about your situation to ensure your survival. You need to use hindsight to look back to see honestly what changes you can make to your farming so that future changes will not be as devastating. 

A sophisticated modern world is often depicted as one that is based on networking and reliance on multiple relationships to achieve the almost impossible, until the unthinkable happens. Farmers are known for their strong independence, now may be a time we should learn to rely more on ourselves. 

In uncertain times, actually in life, there is one constant certainty, CHANGE. We as farmers are thus particularly vulnerable in setting up our business’ in such a way and not taking this CERTAINTY into account. This needs to change, we need to change, we need to be the change ourselves. 

Publication: October 2020

Section: Pula/Imvula