You take for granted what you see every day. I think of this as I catch a glimpse of the Red Arrows practicing above me, which is so commonplace here during winter as to go almost unnoticed.
Alas not for much longer, as they will be moving from their current base at RAF Scampton (where the famous Dambusters raid departed during World War II) to another Lincolnshire airfield.
Sadly, dairy farming in Lincolnshire is becoming equally rare. At the last count we were one of just 17 remaining and numbers continue to dwindle.
We will probably just about have enough forage for winter, but it will be tighter than we would like. A bumper first cut last summer went some way to compensate for the non-existent third cut and we managed to top up our maize by buying a bit from an accommodating neighbour.
Although the cows dont seem to be milking quite as well as last winter, it has been a fantastic winter for components, with December averaging 3.7% protein.
Alongside our 200 pedigree Holsteins, we have been milking one Jersey this year which arrived with our new herdsman Marcus, but I doubt even he could say its all attributable to her.
Not another bloody heifer calf. These were not words I could ever have imagined myself saying five years ago. But like some other farmers I know, we are now getting a bit overrun with youngstock.
It has always been an important part of our business to sell replacement heifers and, until relatively, recently we would only use beef semen quite sparingly.
To try to compensate for my lack of discipline in the use of beef semen, we are currently extending our youngstock shed. Due for completion in August 2023, I am watching them putting the roof on as I write this article in the middle of January.
As you can imagine, this has created a fair few problems and this winter is not one I am looking to repeat in a hurry.
Last week, as a member of the Holstein UK science committee, I joined the classification team at a workshop in Cheshire. The classifiers not only provide final scores for the pedigree enthusiasts among us, but also objectively score 23 linear traits on a one to nine scale.
These linear scores are a key input into genetic evaluations, not only for type, but also the overall profit indexes, which include body size, body condition, leg and foot and mammary traits.
At the workshop, Meurig James and Lynden Bustard ensure all their team are scoring traits in a consistent way and also in the same way as their international counterparts, which is vital to ensure bull proofs can be reliably converted from one country to another.
I could not fail to be impressed by the team in its desire to not only provide a good service to the member on the day, but also its role in providing reliable data for all dairy farmers to make better breeding decisions.
Matthew Winter is one of four partners in the family farm, where they currently milk 210 Holsteins under the Corringham prefix. It is a mixed dairy/arable farm in Lincolnshire, totalling about 324 hectares (800 acres). He sits on the Holstein UK board of trustees and started his career at Holstein UK as an animal breeding analyst before training to be a chartered accountant with Deloitte and going on to be head of financial planning for Eurostar. He returned to the family farm in 2011.