I have a little nephew, he's a cute little fella but when he was about three-years-old, he developed a very big problem.
He became obsessed with the word "no".
He would say no to anything and everything - regardless of whether he actually wanted that thing or not.
Ice cream? No. Cartoons? No. Toys? No. Ride the motorbike? No.
It became such a part of his personality that we called him "the king of no".
And while he may have grown out of that phase now, and he's moved on to bigger and better things, the name has stuck.
As I look at the agriculture industry in general, and the cattle industry (the sector closest to my heart) in particular, I see a lot of people who have crowned themselves the "kings of no".
They refuse to participate in rational discussions, find it hard to acknowledge there may be different opinions to their own, won't acknowledge the changing world in which we live and they adopt a "my way or the highway" attitude.
It makes me wonder, what are they trying to achieve and who are they actually trying to impress?
Representative bodies who adopt the "no" strategy are only hurting themselves and their members.
Progressive, collaborative thinkers leave organisations like this in droves.
They see no value in being a part of an organisation that is willfully ignorant about the risks of saying no.
Because, when you say no, that's where the conversation stops.
You no longer get included in discussions, plans, strategies and policies.
You lock yourself out of the room when, if you're genuinely serving your members and your industry, you should really be staying in there until they turn the lights off and kick you out.
I'm not saying that you have to say yes - but you owe it to your members to at least be a part of the conversation.
If the first thing you say is no, then why should anyone even bother wasting their time talking to you?
You've given your answer - even before you've received most of the information.
You don't get a chance to state your case and do your best to represent the interests of your members.
You just get to sit outside on your hill of no, arms crossed, feeling smug and superior and looking very, very lonely while everyone else gets involved in negotiating what the future of agriculture should look like.
Choose any contentious issue during the past 100 years - BTEC, live export, NLIS, climate change and now the methane pledge - and you will see the "kings of no" in action.
They get front page in the papers because their shockingly short-sighted view of the world makes good press.
We all know them. We've all seen them - draped over the rails at the local campdraft or livestock sale, sagely giving their opinion on issues that they know very little about - or are unwilling to compromise long-held views.
They sit safely outside of any rooms where big decisions are made and are content to throw stones at those who are genuinely invested in trying to make this industry a better, more profitable place.
And while the "kings of no" may get a few like-minded individuals nodding their heads in agreement, they aren't making any real change.
They simply refuse to be a part of the conversation and so are excluded from being part of the solution.
A wise man (they do exist) once said to me "the world is run by those who show up".
So, I challenge the "kings (and queens) of no" to put up, show up or shut up.
Say maybe or, even better, don't say anything at all. Instead, listen to the conversations that are happening and will impact your business and your life.
And maybe, just maybe you will find yourself saying "yes" for a change - and wouldn't that be a great outcome for our industry.