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Jeremy's Blog 30th July 2021: Life of the Profession

This article by Jeremy Moody first appeared in the CAAV e-Briefing of 29th July 2021.

The further easing of pandemic restrictions enabled by widespread vaccination and past infections opens up thoughts of how the personal and social side of professional life, business and fellowship might resume. We are looking at what the new balance might be that, across the range of ways we work, combines efficient professional support and the social interaction of a wider life. While judging risk, there is an appetite to meet, resuming the personal interaction that is the life blood of a profession about people and with a voluntary ethos for its organisation.

The CAAV has maintained activity supporting members through the pandemic, with actions from starting this e-Briefing to delivering last November’s examinations. Last month’s livestreamed national conference, national webinars and podcasts have joined traditional means such as publications and the News Letter. The pre-AGM remote cocktail event brought electronic conviviality, a boon but a reminder of what has been missing.

Integral to the CAAV’s life, most local associations have held remote meetings, often an AGM, usually with professional content, also webinars or Zoom meetings and, in many areas, tutorials, remote as well as physical, keeping local life and helping those making their way as agricultural valuers.

South Wales has had a physical AGM and Western Counties a well-attended and effective on-farm, on brewery professional meeting, visit and hog roast. Tutorials in Midland Counties and Western Counties have been booked out and more tutorials are coming. Other associations are deciding what they will do this autumn.

This engagement, in work and more widely, is critical for those starting and making their way as agricultural valuers, working with principals, meeting clients with multi-dimensional problems and gaining experience and insight – but prejudiced by the pandemic.

Zoom and Teams can work through an agenda, save travelling time, overcome geography and have more logged-in but their illusion of visual contact makes it harder to achieve that extra spark of vitality or to have the side exchange that add value to interaction or have full engagement. Larger meetings become more clunky and new people can be at a disadvantage.

Physical meetings, whether in committee, local meetings or conferences, bring opportunities for conversations, whether to understand something more closely, to advance a negotiation, strengthening contacts or the chance encounters and stray comments that open doors to the future.

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