Hi from the UK,
It has been a while since I last posted, feels like I have been so busy that time has flown by! I am now in my 2nd year of my part-time postgraduate degree, after averaging a distinction from my first 4 modules, which I was really pleased with as it was hard work and I had to make a compromise with my social life and my sleep patterns to get the work done! I have also changed job roles and location, and am now working across the south-west of England as a business and financial consultant across all rural sectors, for example, dairy farms, beef, sheep, arable, farm shops and other agri-diversification activities. This was due to an evaluation of my previous role on my part and coming to the conclusion that the scope and scale could not match my ambition, and so I took the decision to move onwards and upwards.
The focus of this blog post is to reiterate the fact that you should not lose the faith that your dreams aren't achievable. At the outset, most things we want in life may appear unachievable, but only because if it were easy then everyone would have them and hence there would be no differentiation or challenge! Perseverance, dedication, and passion are the key elements here. You don't have to be the brightest button, or the funniest, or the one with the most contacts, but enthusiasm and a willingness to succeed will take you just as far.
You may have noticed Warren posted a link to a recent scholarship that I was fortunate enough to have been awarded, which contributes to my tuition fees for my postgraduate course. However, my main decision to go through the application process was to test myself against my peers from across the UK. Self-belief should not be confused with arrogance; indeed I returned to further education to learn more theory and application. But a positive outcome of the scholarship process was that I won the award, however if you don't put yourself up for these awards you can't win them, a bit like playing the lottery!
I often find myself wishing for an extra couple of hours in the day to fit all my commitments in, or annoyed because my to-do list is too big, or I am neglecting other duties or relationships. But there is a saying in the UK - 'if you want something doing, ask a busy person to do it', and I thrive on working under pressure to perform. This is what pushes some of us to go that extra mile, to make that piece of work that bit better, to find that extra 1% efficiency in a farming business.
The fact that students currently enrolled onto an agricultural or associated course have all agreed to is the acknowledgement of the importance of food and farming to a sustainable future, a mix of global food production, food security and environmental issues such as climate change and conservation. However, the importance of these issues is not achievable without the next generation of enthusiastic and knowledgeable agriculturalists, and the industry will welcome with open arms the new ideas and efficiencies that you will bring.
May I make a suggestion - grab a piece of paper and write down 5 of the things you want to achieve in your life. Although they may seem far-off, opportunities will present themselves along the way to tick off those goals, and it is these open doors that need to be walked through - if you don't step up you'll never know what you might find you can achieve - go on, surprise yourself!