It is undoubtedly a very frustrating and worrying time for British dairy farmers. Milk prices are plummeting. With increased milk supply around the world and demand not increasing at the same pace, huge pressure has been put on milk values. For some it means they are now only getting around 25 pence-per-litre for their product. With the cost of production sitting much higher than this it is no wonder that many fear for the future of their farm businesses... What we also know is that it is clear that the British public want to back British farming and continue to support British dairy farmers during this difficult time.
Farmers have little to cheer about; politicians even less. But, when an American can evoke an explosion of applause from Iran's most elite agricultural researchers at the suggestion that all of mankind is capable of standing together to address common challenges, the possibilities for a more peaceful world becomes limitless.
Is organic food actually better for our health? Well, it should be. Organic agricultural practices mean avoiding chemical fertilisers - using instead crop rotation and natural nitrogen sources like clover, composted manure and seaweed. Pesticides are severely restricted and routine use of antibiotics and other drugs is banned. That means we should be ingesting far fewer chemicals ourselves.
This year there has been a slide in the proportion of food produced in the UK for British consumers. We're calling on government, the food industry and shoppers to put British farming - and feeding the nation - at the heart of their decision making. We're now just 60% self sufficient - despite British farmers being geared up to produce more, sustainably, for the long term.
People, especially youth require strong vocational and business management training to equip them with the right knowledge and skills to start successful enterprises along the agribusiness value chain. Easy access to adequate and affordable financing for starting and growing enterprises must be made available. Finally, an enabling environment with strong political leadership that allows entrepreneurship to flourish and embeds the notion of entrepreneurship in the agriculture sector in the wider political and economic agenda must be supported.
The 1,000 days between the start of a mother's pregnancy and her baby's second birthday are an especially crucial time to protect against these dangers. If babies don't get the proper nutrition during those 1,000 days, their brains will never fully develop. After that, the devastating truth is that the damage can never be undone - no matter how many vaccines they get or how much time or money is invested in their education.
HS2 raises the prospect of an unacceptable treble hit. Firstly, essential farmland is being lost to the line; secondly, larger areas which have been highlighted for habitat creation and tree planting will take valuable food-producing land out of production. And thirdly, far more new habitat is being imposed than is being lost on a questionable 'bigger is better' principle.
Increasing evidence and scientific analysis is showing why these events are associated with human induced climate change. The related impacts are becoming more widespread and complex, affecting society from health issues to agriculture, from transportation to economics, and becoming more severe, long-lasting and costly with increasing frequency.
Back in the UK one could blame the farmers but the real culprit is our government and their ideology of scrapping environmental regulations in the absurd belief that a free market will hold back the waters. Whether through corruption, ideological dogma or an obsession with self-serving headlines rather than finding lasting solutions, both governments fail their people.
The concerns about GM biotechnology are, it seems, similar to those engendered by nuclear accidents: after the immediate devastation comes the anxiety about the long term effects. The fallout associated with genetic engineering is involving us in a something which could be even more far reaching than radioactive pollution.
Unknown to many, about 30 million tonnes of GM animal feed is thought to be imported into Europe each year to feed pigs, poultry, dairy and beef cattle, as well as farmed fish. The UK imports an estimated 140,000 tonnes of GM soya and as much as 300,000 tonnes of GM maize annually for use as animal feed.
For a generation of consumers shielded from the realities of factory farming, brought up on picture-book images of Old Macdonald and his small farmyard idyll, reinforced by advertising and often misleading labels, the truth often comes as a shock. Putting farm animals back on the farm could be a big vote-winner too; many people mistakenly think it's where they are anyway!