RHASS Chairman Jimmy Warnock - A letter to my younger self
In Scotland’s Year of Young People, we’ve asked our Chairman to think about the advice and encouragement he would give his younger self now, having cultivated a successful career and what life lessons he’s learned along the way.
You’ll get used to the early morning wake up calls I promise you.
In fact, get up as early as you can in the morning - an hour in the morning is worth two in the afternoon. So, if you work as hard and as fast as you can all day, it means at night, you can go out and get up to mischief.
The New Seekers said it best “Do what you do, do well” – so don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, focus on yourself and what you can achieve. Your brothers will follow a different path but don’t let that worry you or make you lose what you hold closest. By following the beat of your own drum, you’ll make your own luck and be so glad you did.
Farming will continue to be a constantly changing and evolving industry. By making sure you are adaptable, you will be able to follow these changes as they happen. If you don’t make this change, you will fall behind the times. A recent report in 2018 showed that 50% of farm income is from non-agricultural activities, so as much as you want to stick to what you know, you absolutely need to branch out from your comfort zone.
Something I want you to know is - never stand when you can walk, never walk when you can run and never run when the tractor is faster. This will be instilled in your brain for years, and it still rings true for you today. Please don’t let yourself be held back by fear of change and evolution in the industry. Change can be a scary thing, but you cannot let the fear of it rule your life and your career. Embrace these changes; you need to tackle them head-on, as they will ultimately be what drives you forward.
Although these changes will be good for you, never forget the people who farmed the land before you. Their methods may seem outdated when you compare them with all your fancy new technology and your new knowledge of how to gain extra litres of milk or higher stocking density of sheep but follow their advice. They’ve been there and done it when there was no technology available and will know things that you might take for granted. If you don’t, be prepared for a learning curve of mistakes, followed by the realisation that your predecessors weren't so silly after all.
As the years go on, start to involve yourself with organisations of like-minded people who can inspire and propel you to greater heights. The places you go and the people you meet leave lasting memories and as travel broadens the mind, grab every opportunity with both hands to travel.
Learn to have fun while you work and enjoy what you do. Team spirit, competitiveness and humour can make hard work fun. Your colleagues are there to help you so, never be afraid to ask for help but to do that look for people to surround you that are able and willing to give you this help and advice.
Finally - enjoy being young. I am at a stage in life now where there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. Around every corner and over every hilltop is a list of jobs needing doing, so savour your free time while you can and don’t get so lost in your work that you forget there is life outside of it. Stick to the motto “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. For if you do it today and you like it, you can do it again tomorrow”.
Oh, and don’t worry about your tools – dad will buy you a bigger shovel and a bigger wheelbarrow when you’re 21.
If you want more information on the agriculture industry or want to learn more about how RHASS can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us.