Happy New Year to all of the Farm Table family. We are rushing and ready to dig deep, work hard and provide an excellent service in 2019.
But, first, we would like to reflect on 2018 — a year of incredible up’s and down’s in the Farm Table business, personally and on the farm.
When looking back at the year just gone, it is so easy to give weight to what didn’t happen, what didn’t work, what goals were not reached … all the negatives:
Your brain is continually looking for bad news. As soon as it finds some, it fixates on it with tunnel vision, fast-tracks it into memory storage, and then reactivates it at the least hint of anything even vaguely similar. But good news gets a kind of neural shrug: “uh, whatever.”
As it turns out, we are evolutionary wired to give greater weight to negative experiences instead of positive ones. We automatically respond faster and stronger to the bad, easily dismissing the good.From an evolutionary standpoint, our survival depended on this negativity bias. It was a way for our ancestors to be cautious of all environmental dangers around us. Being constantly so alert to threats and worst case scenarios is what helped our ascendants survive. Through evolution the bias has become so automatic that it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain’s information processing.
Instinctively, our brain’s negative bias can have us urgently wanting to put 2018 in a locked cupboard behind us, shutting it away as those velcro’ed front of mind disappointments are front and centre of our memory.
So today, we are adding some stickiness to our Teflon pan – scrubbing it with a metal scourer pad – and bringing to light the positive achievements of 2018, big and small, to overcome this negative bias we put on ourselves. We can all learn so much from our challenges and failures, but resetting the scales to focus as much on, or more, on the good bits is so important. I urge others to take two minutes out of their day to do the same before setting those goals and charging into 2019.
Statistics and a list of achievements don’t capture the range of emotions, feelings and highlights experienced throughout 2018, but it is nice for us to have a list of ‘done’s’ rather than a list of ‘to-do’s’ to occupy the mind and be proud of.
2018 Farm Table Achievements
- Farmer Exchange tour through parts of Qld, WA, NSW, Tas, SA and Vic in February, March and April
- Announced as a Lightbulb Finalist by the Regional Australia Institute
- Presented at 10 conferences, workshops and farmer forums across Australia
- Mentored at the Sydney Royal Easter Show
- Attended the RCS Grazing for Profit course with my partner
- Got married in October on family farm 🙂
- Launched the Young Farmer Business Program Hub within Farm Table
- Hosted a loans webinar with the Regional Investment Corporation
- Farm Table design improvements beginning to roll out from October
- Launched Farmer Exchange beta in December
- Published articles and blog special series on Balancing the Drought Narrative, Farm Diversification, On-Farm Innovators, Early Weaning, Farming Podcasts, Alternative Feed Options, Agricultural Subsidies, Grazing Strategies, Farm Benchmarking, Lamb Survival, Grazing Crops, Collaborative Farming Models, Direct Marketing, Livestock Marketing, Succession Planning, Agistment, Whole Farm Planning, and Budgeting.
2018 in Stats
- Over 485,000 pageviews on farmtable.com.au
- Over 77,800 unique visitors to the website
- 2,061 resources in our AgLibrary
- 1,010 events published in our AgCalendar
- 340 funding opportunities published in AgFunding database over the year
- 86 blog posts in Table Talk
- Most popular items in AgLibrary: Guide to machinery costs and contract rates, Making your own protein blocks for cattle, Farm Planning Budgets
- Most popular blog posts: What are some examples of sustainable farming practices?, A Checklist for Farm Leasing, and Don’t start from scratch! We’ve rounded up Farm Gross Margin Templates for you!
- Reach on Facebook of 1.6 million
- 9,500 followers on Facebook
- 70 questions and 202 users on Farmer Exchange from late December.
Writing this list 2018 and I have made peace and I am happy to close the door on the year, with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.
Here’s to a 2019 full of rain, learning, growth and a non-stick pan of positivity.