THE importance of staying positive has never been more obvious than at Christmas 2019.
Friends tell me that they are making decisions to greatly alter their farming businesses as ongoing droughts have sapped their motivation and their cash reserves.
A common remark is that "the livestock have eaten our life savings, our unit on the coast and we'll need at least a decade to recover".
But no-one wants to be seen as a whinger or a victim as we know that there are many people in our community who are battling hardship.
Still, decisions must be made and no one should be criticised if they decide that farming is too risky for their family.
The Rain Gods hold the deciding cards.
Time to reflect
MENTION was made in an early Australian poem that "the congregation stood about and talked, as it had done for years".
Much of the church-going has ceased with the passing of generations, but churches are often overflowing at Christmas services as families turn up because Grandma expects them to do so.
The fellowship both before and after church is a great chance for battling families to discuss the highs and lows of everyday life and for the farm community to forget their problems for a while.
There aren't many chances for country people to touch base as the leaders of rural organisations seem to have run out of steam and the festive season may be very quiet.
OTHER RECENT RURAL NOTEBOOK COLUMNS:
A LARGE crowd enjoyed the National Shearing Championships at Dubbo several weeks ago and the 2600 Parkdale SRS ewes that were shorn were a good advertisement for the stud.
YouTube videos show plenty of ewes being shorn and not a wrinkle to be seen.
These sheep were trucked from a Mudford family property at Enngonia and they were shorn at this year's Dubbo Show in early May.
The ewes cut about 3.5 kilograms of wool, probably close to 70 millimetres, and they obviously do much better with the wool off.
The downside of the scheme is the doubling of shearing costs and not all owners appreciate the extra stock work.
AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation's general manager of marketing communications Laura Armstrong made some pertinent points at the company's AGM recently:
- The millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are wool's lost audience.
- They grew up with polyester and fast fashion and aren't familiar with merino wool.
- Their grandparents need to be re-educated that good wool isn't the itchy, scratchy fibre of their childhood.
- AWI's social media reach had increased 62 per cent to 20 million contacts.
Mark the date
BATHURST Merino Association wishes to remind members that the shearing of teams of wether trial entrants will be held in the woolshed at Vale Creek Wines, Cow Flat Road, Georges Plains on Saturday, December 21 with a 7.30pm start.
Helpers will be appreciated. BYO smoko and lunch. The wethers will be shorn as one mob with no testing done on the day.
WHILE we think of festive seasons, we should think of the almost 200 motorists who have failed the .05 roadside breath test and lost their driver's licence for 12 weeks.
We envisage dad or mum failing the breatho, being arrested in front of their kids, phoning a friend to collect the car and then facing the music at home.
To lose your licence and have to be driven everywhere must be horrible.
Please be extra careful with Christmas drinks and don't pick up your phone while you're at the wheel. Our driver's licence is gold.
RESULTS for the British general election will be coming is as you are reading this column and predictions of a sound majority for the Boris Johnson Conservatives have been made.
We only need to think back to Australian pollsters' predictions of a big win to Labor at our 2019 election to be careful not to count chickens too soon.
PM Johnson has promised to enact the British intention and take Great Britain from the European Union within 100 days if his government is returned.
The political scene seems more settled in our country as we approach the festive season, with even Barnaby speaking more quietly.
THE wool market was cheaper for the second week in a row as all micron categories lost ground.
The superfine and fine merino types lost around 60 to 70c/kg, while the medium to broader merinos lost around 35c/kg.
The crossbreds also eased, losing around 25 to 30c/kg.
The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1524c/kg, down 37c/kg.
The last six months have seen the Northern Market Indicator peak at 1750c/kg, bottom out at 1405c/kg and average 1562c/kg, so the market at the moment is just below the six-month average.
We could see the market a little dearer next week.
Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark
THE RFS volunteer came to talk to the school on a quiet day.
"What do you say when a smoke alarm is wailing in your house?" the volunteer asked the class.
"I say dad's doing the cooking," seven-year-old Sally said.
LITTLE George arrived home with an early mark at 3pm and there was a plumber's van parked at the house.
"I hope mum's got him for a lover," George gasped, "because we can't afford a plumber."
A MALE gynaecologist is like a motor mechanic who never owned a car.