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Farmer John’s April ’15 blog

Farmer John’s April ’15 blog

27 Nov 2015

I have been at the South East public speaking competition for Young Farmers Clubs as judge all morning. The event was held at Sparsholt College near Winchester. My fellow judge was a young English teacher from Park House School. She had grandparents from India and was brought up in Wales, so her accent was fairly confusing! The youngsters in the first competition were asked to read from ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. One took on the role of chairman, and introduced the other two members of the team. Diction and clarity from all taking part were crucial, and they did well, but expression was obviously key, and there were some exceptional readers. This was followed by a formal meeting, with chairman, speaker and vote of thanks. All the speakers showed confidence and knowledge of their subjects, but at times were let down by the other members of the team.
Earlier in the week we were working with Vodafone on a team building day at Rushall Manor. We had 60 people divided into teams. They were bridge building, staining the barns and benches, filling the potholes with 20 tonnes of scalpings, painting the inside of the stable, cutting hedges and improving the sensory garden area. It rained hard all day, but that, if anything, increased the determination to complete the work allocated. Large quantities of cakes and hot drinks kept morale high, and lunch in the barn was a highly sociable time, with few mobile phones in evidence in spite of 4G. Entertainment was provided at the end of the day as, one by one, their cars were towed out of the camping field with a tractor. I lent my John Deere overalls to one guy who looked extremely comfortable in them, but eventually, begrudgingly, gave them back. The last to finish work was a director. He had his reward as he came into the nearly empty barn. It wasn’t just coffee and a paint splattered face. A small team had set up office with laptops busy and serious preparation was going on for a meeting the following day.
‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. African proverb.