Don’t be a hero, but do be a hero (i.e. a good neighbour) | Issue 170

Sep 3, 2021

Covid-19 has changed the way we do business and the new delta variant, which the country is currently grappling with, is no exception. While farmers and their support services are currently seen as essential, this could quickly change depending on how things develop. Below are a few pointers to consider when thinking about running your farm over the next few months:

  • Don’t be a hero. If you or anyone on the farm feels unwell, then don’t try to work through it. Stay home, self-isolate and get better. If you have a sore throat or cough, then do the right thing and book a Covid test as soon as you can.
  • Be kind. Give your suppliers and staff the benefit of the doubt and try to be patient with them. It’s a tough time for everyone and a little kindness goes a long way.
  • Look after your neighbours. Everyone copes with stressful situations differently. Drop your neighbours a text or phone call every now and then, to see how they are doing. You could be making a big difference to them, just by showing you care. Also, don’t forget about your local Rural Support Trust. Reach out to them if you need help, advice or just a friendly ear to talk to.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wear a face covering whenever visitors are on the farm and practice social distancing wherever possible. Make sure you regularly wash your hands and encourage everyone to use hand santisier when entering or leaving the deer shed/farm.
  • Use technology to your advantage. If you can do tasks online or through your Smartphone, e.g. approving VSDs, then do it and avoid having to be physically present. Practice ‘contactless management’, to keep you and your workers safe.
  • Encourage those around you to get vaccinated. It’s free and could end up saving you a lot of grief in the long run.

Plan for the worst… Hope for the best. Think about how you might manage the farm if you or someone you depend on tested positive for Covid-19 and had to be quarantines. Who would keep the animals fed and watered while you were in isolation? Having a plan-B in place is really important and can help take the pressure off if the worst does happen.

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