Winston Churchill once said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

The farmer bashing continued in 2019 with unrelenting pressure from the Government’s policies and the anti-farming brigade.

It was another year which highlighted the lingering death of critical thinking within the urban media. Many no longer question, but simply repeat everything spoonfed to them by Fish and Game, and Greenpeace.

They are like little children with each cry of outrage against farming a ball to play with. Every time the ball is thrown into the media playground they all chase after it, never stopping to question if it is true, to check the facts.

There have been film directors and so-called celebrities become experts on climate change and advocate an end to pastoral farming.

Government subsidies for carbon forestry and an armchair ride for foreign forestry investors has created a spread of pines across New Zealand farmland.

Yet, despite the negatives there have been many positives.

Throughout 2019 Country-Wide featured numerous stories of successful farming operations. People who just get on and do it.

There was the emergence of Ag Proud. What a great job they are doing connecting urban people with farmers.

Also high prices for red meat products are demand, not procurement-driven and likely to remain for some time.

Whatever happens in 2020 it is important to have a sense of humour.

John Cleese said without humour you lose all sense of proportion.

For me (and my family) it was another turbulent year with three more tumours and the ignominy of collapsing at a restaurant during my 16-year-old daughter’s birthday dinner. As I was being carried out on a stretcher I still had the presence of mind to assure incoming diners, “this is not a reflection of the food or service”.

Radiation and drugs have dealt to or are controlling the tumours. After several years of treatment, I feel like one of those batsmen in cricket who keeps miss-timing shots, nicking balls and looking very shaky, but somehow manages to still be at the crease for the day’s final ball. Hopefully the pitch won’t be so lively in 2020.

The key thing is to focus on the positive and not dwell on the negative.

Every day is a good day. As someone said to me recently, you only really have one bad day in your life – the day you die.

So stay healthy, mentally as well as physically.

Stay positive.