I make a good brown bread but my girls were never big fans.

Recently, I got a bread maker. The children told me that not only was it “the same as Granny’s” – high praise – but that they will have “yours for school”. I have replaced Brennans!

I started thinking about other things in life that are replaceable.

There is a catchphrase for whichever side of that fence you fall on – either: “You will miss that when it’s gone,” or “No one is irreplaceable.” Whichever is relevant “depends” on the situation. When a person moves from a job, some may fear the change, considering experience or other assets to be irreplaceable. It might take a while but invariably, if the human resources process does its job, everyone is replaceable.

This simple rule also enables the benefits of diversity to flourish.

When Ciara spoke to RTÉ Washington correspondent Brian O’Donovan, he pointed to the different experiences he had compared to his predecessors.

Brian O'Donovan with cameraman Murray Pinczuk.

He might have witnessed the Trump regime but Mark Little was there for Monica Lewinsky and Carol Coleman was stateside for 9/11. Brian will be replaced soon and will bring this experience to his next role.

In a job like Brian’s, there will be a demand for the position. Potential candidates will see this as an opportunity and therefore replacement should be easy.

Farmers also are replaceable and new blood is positive for the same reasons as for any other job. While succession is slow, the growth in agriculture, as was supported by previous agri-food sector strategies, provided opportunities for farmers and with that – renewal.

The new draft Agri-Food Strategy to 2030, out now for public consultation, is unfortunately no replacement for its predecessors in terms of supporting opportunity in the sector.

Farmers might be replaceable, but they might not be replaced in Ireland or even in Europe.

While our place in the world of work may be replaceable, we ourselves are not replaceable to our loved ones

Another catchphrase comes to mind: “When it’s gone, it’s gone”. If Ireland loses another agricultural product, or the producers of that product, it will not be replaced – just remember sugar beet!

While our place in the world of work may be replaceable, we ourselves are not replaceable to our loved ones. According to Teagasc research, farmers are a “hard-to-reach” group when it comes to engagement on health matters.

This research goes on to say that compared to other occupational groups, farmers in Ireland experience a disproportionate burden of physical and mental health problems. This week, we have a special health focus which covers everything from eyes to feet and the bits in between.

Follow our social media also for “A Stretch a Day” which will benefit the body and mind.

Each week, we welcome your letters to our solicitor Aisling Meehan, psychotherapist Enda Murphy, Money Mentor Margaret Nolan, careers coach Brendan Heneghan and of course Miriam. This week, we print an emotional and powerful reader letter. The writer is seeking advice on life with her husband who suffers from depression.

We also print the replies we received from a counsellor and from Mental Health Ireland but the reader is also seeking solidarity from other farm families. If you have experience that you feel could help, please write to us, confidentially, at advice@farmersjournal.ie.