A Young Farmers Perspective – Do You Agree?
Let’s start with a history of where farming was and how far it has come in the last 50 years. In the 60’s the majority of cows were being milked in tie up barns and milk was being delivered to the creamery each day by the farmer himself. Farming at the time was a hard, labour-intensive business. Machinery was limited and as a consequence not a lot of ground could be covered in a day.
Flash forward to the present: the job these days is more accommodating for the man and the cow. In general, more resources and information are available to ensure you make the right decisions. Machinery is more adapted to suit specific farm work and automation is prevalent in most farms. Take the milking parlour for example: cluster removers make milking easier and automatic wash on bulk tanks contributes to ease and hygiene (which we all take for granted). Milk is now collected directly from the farm which also takes some of the hardship out of farming. The layout of farm yards in general has improved in order to manage large workloads efficiently and more safely.
The above aside, I believe the main differences in dairy farming is the time available to do more off farm and family time pursuits – there is more to life than work alone. That said, there will always be busy times of the year like calving and saving crops. When you do have free-time you are also able to see the farm from a clearer external perspective. In general, modern farming has a lot to offer. There is a lot of hard work required but the rewards are there every day of the week, working in nature and observing sunrises and sunsets in all types of weather. My goal is to continue to drive efficiencies on the farm as much as possible so that I can continue to enjoy the fruits of my labour in an environment that is dear to my heart.
This is the perspective of a young farmer who worked on a family farm before managing his own. The farmers mentions the need to continuously improve farm efficiencies in order to achieve the ideal state that he is looking for. Do farmers today agree with his sentiments and the desire to free up more time on the farm and create a better work life balance?