Being a farmer is never easy

This week's column looks at the one of the toughest professions out there, farming.

If you ever want the most frustrating job ever be a farmer.

Just for the record, I grew up on a farm operated by my one set of grandparents and have covered agricultural issues in three provinces, so I do know a bit about the topic.

And this growing season is no different for most, in that it’s been difficult to deal with all of the variables that get tossed in the way.

From the wonderful early start for seeding in the spring to the vastly different rainfall numbers and hail that fell, depending on where you are, to the heavy wet snow that fell and halted harvest, the region’s farmers have been on quite the rollercoaster.

To put it in some context, that would be like working in an office and only being able to access the computer or Internet that you need to complete a job when it’s pretty much the least convenient or when you have to be doing other work at the same time.

And the weather is only the biggest issue farmers must contend with, one can’t forget the rest such as insects, disease, machinery breakdowns and the need to take care of other business or work another job a reality for most in this day and age.

Yet, a lot of farmers wouldn’t want to do anything else. Why?

That’s simple, they love what they do and how it helps feed the country along with the benefit of being able to raise a family in the fashion they believe is best.

According to my grandpa, and this goes back quite a ways, being on the land and living within its means was what kept him going each and every day. He also really enjoyed being able to do what he wanted, when he wanted and in his own fashion.

Unfortunately, progress and the fact none of his children wanted to carry on with the business venture ultimately forced him into selling off most of the property and into doing another job (granted, this was in the late 70s to early 80s when, similar to many years ago, the economics and future of farming certainly didn’t command the dollars young adults could earn working in the resource sector).

Farming still isn’t too popular of a profession among youth, what with long and strange hours combined with having to take on other work during other parts of the year and only seeing the success of your labour if all things come together in the right way at the right moment. It has also gotten too large for some, as the only way to make it feasible is to plant thousands of acres or run rather large animal operations.

So, my hat goes out to those that remain committed to farming and people’s future.

That being said, I would still love to be take on operating a farm and putting into practice all that my grandfather and other people taught me.

But that is…just an observation.


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