To think farmers work too hard?

(221 Posts)
Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 17:47:54

I am a farmer's wife. From last Saturday to yesterday my DH has worked 108 hours out of a possible 168. He is still at work now. He hasn't had a whole day without going to work since October last year. He worked 351 days out of a possible 365 last year, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year. This is standard for our life.

I get very frustrated at our lack of family life and holiday. He gets very tired and irritable. I know I am not the only farmer's wife to find rearing a family with a farming DH difficult. But I get more frustrated at people telling me how hard they work when they have no idea what real hard work is like. Yes teachers, I'm talking about you bellyaching at working 60 hours a week and having lots of holidays.

Yes I'm pissed off. It's Bank Holiday and I have barely seen my DH except to put meals in front of him. Flame away.

Roary1 Sat 25-May-13 17:50:47

Most farmers do not work as hard as that.

squeakytoy Sat 25-May-13 17:51:29

I dont doubt it is hard work, but he presumably chose to take it on, and you by marrying him accepted that would be the life you had.

Obviously the welfare of animals, or care of crops cant be left for a fortnight while you all buggered off on an All Inclusive in Bendorm.

Is it not possible to employ farmhands to lighten some of the work load?

LouiseSmith Sat 25-May-13 17:52:10


Not at all. But I assume you knew all of this about him before you settled down and had kids. Can he not hire a farm hand. Maybe and have some you time smile


Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 17:52:13

It has been particularly bad this week. Silaging. And herdsman and relief herdsman both off. But its always relentless.

Bowlersarm Sat 25-May-13 17:52:22


It must be relentless.

Is there anyway you could get a break. Any relatives who know what they are doing to relieve you for a couple of days?

AgentZigzag Sat 25-May-13 17:54:10

Is it worse because of the season?

Don't blame you being miffed if he's out that much, do you manage to get out to see other people?

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 17:57:31

We are going away in July. smile
And no, I didn't know when I married him as since then he has come back to the family farm rather than being employed elsewhere and obviously now the buck stops with him. I think he married me under false pretences!

OK so he's a dairy farmer. How many cows? At least there is herdsman and relief herdsman (under normal circumstances!) Maybe he could delegate more to them - increase their responsibilities. I appreciate it's hard at the moment with them both away and being in the midst of silage-making.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 25-May-13 18:02:04

It's fine to moan about how hard it is, but not fair to have a go at teachers.
I'm not a teacher btw, but I think all professions have their own stresses.

toomuchtoask Sat 25-May-13 18:05:10

Don't have a moan at teachers because your husband works too hard. FFS.

Euphemia Sat 25-May-13 18:05:58

I'm a teacher and I'm in awe of how hard farmers work - proper physical, long hours, hard work.

I drive up a rural road to work, I see farmers hard at work in the fields every day. I never get impatient when I'm stuck behind a farm vehicle, three times in a half-hour journey, unlike other fuckers on the road. angry

I couldn't do that job, or be married to someone who did. My job is a dawdle compared to farmers'.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 18:06:10

I agree ladybeagle.

What do you do for a job OP? Because it sound like if its something that's just a mere 60 hours a week, you're fair game for us all to have a pop!

Pouncer1 Sat 25-May-13 18:08:15

Oh lady I know exactly where you are coming. It's so hard for farmers these days and sadly very little profit in many cases. My DDad hasn't had a day off in 3 years nowsad...unless we can count 2 days off where he broke his leg in 5 places because a spreader fell on him and was stuck for hours!sad

I would never change my childhood though and had the best upbringing on the farm but I am not sure i could take it on myself with very little money coming in and no family time.

theodorakisses Sat 25-May-13 18:08:35

I agree. It is so hard, I lodged on a farm for a couple of years and when they weren't working they were lying awake worrying.

nextphase Sat 25-May-13 18:09:36

Would it be possible to suggest to the herdsmen don't both have the same week off? Especially at very busy times?
Or are they off unplanned (e.g. ill) rather than you/DH agreeing for them both to be off?

Hope it slackens off soon for you - is the dry weather today a blessing or a curse?

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 18:11:47

I'm a partner in a firm of solicitors janey68 so not without my own stresses at work. So yes, flame away and have a pop.

We are milking about 180 cows.

Maybe its not fair to single out teachers, but I have had three teachers or teacher's partners tell me this week that teachers work too hard and frankly I'm pissed off with smiling through gritted teeth at them when I know they are getting a holiday this week.

oh another slag off teachers thread
((hides thread))

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 18:14:26

Partner in a law firm? Piss easy then .

theodorakisses Sat 25-May-13 18:16:27

The farm I lived on the wife was a teacher and if she hadn't been they wouldn't have been able to diversify and market as organic and go to markets. Not bashing teachers, I am married to a headmaster but the holidays are a bonus and do have a financial effect on a farming family.

toomuchtoask Sat 25-May-13 18:16:58

Oh yes. Teachers should never get a holiday should they.

YANBU that your DH works hard and it must be tough. YABU to have a go at teachers when you clearly know fuck all about it.

My ex was from a dairy farming family. I think what annoyed me more than the hard work was the fact he'd been brought up to believe that the world had to revolve around the man of the family, because that man was working very hard and everyone else would need to fit in as and when.

I am not certain where the dividing line between 'working very hard' and 'being a bit of a wanker' was, but I can see that even perfectly lovely people would struggle with that lifestyle, to give enough time to their families. It is a hard job.

Dominodonkey Sat 25-May-13 18:20:27

Op - since you sit on your arse in an office all day then perhaps you would like to keep your ignorant comments about teachers to yourself. Your DH obviously works ridiculous and frankly unhealthy hours - I have no idea why he has to work so hard when you have a job in one of the most overpaid professions in the country. Just because his hours are ridiculously excessive doesn't mean that teachers don't deserve a weeks holiday.

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 18:22:27

Yes Janey grin In comparison it is. Which is why you don't see or hear me moaning about it.
Not too bothered about the weather at the moment as silaging done last week. Thanks to all those who are supportive and try to understand the work that goes into producing food.

It really isn't intended as a slag off teachers thread and I'm sorry if it comes across as that. My reasons for saying what I did are above.

Euphemia Sat 25-May-13 18:24:12

I'm not getting a holiday this week. sad

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 18:25:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 18:25:29

You're the one moaning actually- not your husband! And what's to stop you using your leave to go on holiday? You're not joined at the hip with him. If he found it that bad he could always retrain as a solicitor !

squeakytoy Sat 25-May-13 18:25:36

Domino makes a good point. As you are clearly bringing in a decent wage, why can the family not afford to employ more help?

digerd Sat 25-May-13 18:28:40

I lived in Germany in a farming comunity. They were all family run small farmers and passed down to the son who wanted to take it on.
They had large subsidies from the government though, as far as finances went, but none was wealthy, infact they all looked poor to me

They worked very hard and the farmer's wife was just that.

My neighbour didn't want that life, but 2 aunties were still helping out in their late 90's.

WorraLiberty Sat 25-May-13 18:28:49

It's not a competition OP

If people moan they work hard then they mean it's hard for them

They're not going to suddenly think, "Oh wait, there's a farmer working harder...phew what was I moaning about?"

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 18:30:10

Clearly you know nothing about working in a small rural practice in a market town then dominodonkey if you think I work in one of the most overpaid professions in the country. I am paid far less than you would think.

I didn't say teachers don't deserve a weeks holiday. I think all people who have a job deserve paid holiday.

EdvardMonsterMunch Sat 25-May-13 18:30:23

I'm married to a farmer (beef cattle and cereals) and i'm a teacher !!
I know what you mean about the long hours, my DH usually does a 14 hour day with work also on weekends.
It's shit.
There again, it's a choice. They could give up the whole shebang and get an ordinary job for alot more money.
They choose to do it and in turn sacrifice normal family lives.
What do you do? Leave ?

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 18:32:43

Do teachers get paid holidays? hmm

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 18:33:46

Edvard, thank you. Do we leave? Do we make them quit what they love? Presumably teachers who moan aren't about to leave their job?

theodorakisses Sat 25-May-13 18:34:36

I would never say teachers shouldn't get the holidays. I am married to one and have briefly been one. However, farming is a bit the same in its intensity and is not acknowledged.

WandOfElderNeverProsper Sat 25-May-13 18:40:20

Well I work in retail, and we all know that's the hardest job of all

violin music

... 148h per week opening times, horrible customers, minimum wage, only the minimum annual leave per year which we can't take as all our low hour contracts mean we can't afford to take the holiday...

ahem grin

Not a competition. But fwiw you may have been able to get a bit more sympathy had you not mentioned teachers in your OP wink

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 18:43:14

Yes I see that now Wanda!

And actually, that's one benefit I can see with farming; no horrible customers!!! Lucky bastards grin

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 18:44:24

I think this is just a thinly veiled teacher bashing thread tbh. You know, what with it being half term.

If we're going to make it a competition, personally I'd find managing 180 cows preferable to 180 teenagers..

ShellyBoobs Sat 25-May-13 18:48:06

Do teachers get paid holidays?

Yes, they do.

Lots of them.

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 18:48:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Euphemia Sat 25-May-13 18:49:12

No we don't - our salary is spread out over 12 months, but we don't get paid for the holidays.

EdvardMonsterMunch Sat 25-May-13 18:49:17

I don't think OP is teacher bashing (are you ?).

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 18:49:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sallyingforth Sat 25-May-13 18:52:02

Talking of hours worked, my neighbour is a partner in a GP practice. He nominally works four days a week but it's amazing how little time he spends there even on those days. And of course he's opted out of on-call services.

lilystem Sat 25-May-13 18:54:15

I'm a farmers wife too lady flip. I do think they work too hard and totally agree that a lot of people these days dont know the meaning of proper hard work. However, I do think farmers can be a bit of a matyr to the job and sometimes choose to make life difficult.

Lrd makes some interesting points about farmers wives and everything revolving round the man - my dh wanted one of those wives but he got me - I too am a farmer with my own farm so when he expects his tea on the table at 6pm I'm out fertilising/combining/drilling -we're not long married and its making for some interesting negotiations re housework and childcare!

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 18:54:28

He is subsidised by the government so meh. My dh is a lawyer so if you are a partner you are laughing.First world problems.

janey68 Sat 25-May-13 18:55:15

So teachers don't get paid holidays! The OP can't even get her facts straight lol

EdvardMonsterMunch Sat 25-May-13 18:56:40

They are subsidised because without subsidies they couldn't effin survive!
(and you couldn't buy your ciabatta from Waitrose of a Satday !!)

lilystem Sat 25-May-13 18:58:59

Ash not all farmers are subsidised. Pig and poultry don't get anything.

RatRatRat Sat 25-May-13 19:04:52

My DH works excessive hours seven days per week as a builder but at least gets Christmas Day off.. grin

It's tough, especially when you have children but at the same time I'm thankful there is so much work. Otherwise it'd be beans on toast all round.

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:11:05

Janey. You clearly have an issue with my daring to mention teachers. I have already apologised. I am not trying to bash teachers. I don't feel the need to apologise again. I am also not trying to make this about you.

Yes, I was moaning. No, its not a competition. But interestingly, I have been supported in this thread by other farmer's wives who also find it hard. Because I really believe that farmers work much harder than most people and because they are not vocal about it, others are generally not aware of the demanding nature of the job. Most people say "oh, what a wonderful place for the children to grow up". Well, maybe, at the expense of hardly ever seeing your Dad and rarely getting time together as a family. Yes, the children and I could go away, and sometimes do. But we would actually like some time together as a family too.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:14:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:17:33

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StuntGirl Sat 25-May-13 19:18:20

I don't think for a second that farmers have an easy life.

I assume it was his choice to go into farming? By way of a family discussion working out how it would impact the family? If so, stop whining. If not, there's your problem.

kim147 Sat 25-May-13 19:18:50

Farmers do have loads to do - based on my knowledge of the Archers.

Getting up with the sun and all that. Worrying about the weather and having to take full advantage when the conditions are right.

Bloody hard work.

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:21:06

Now, that really is a fair point Lunatic. And its something LRD alluded to; he is in control and therefore should have control over what he does. And as Rat and Kingrollo also nearly said, at least its work.

I would prefer this to a zero hours minimum wage contract, yes. But although he is not technically a wage slave, he is a slave to the weather, which has no legislation to govern it. And the other thing about farmers is that they often work with family, and there are lots of pressures to do with that which are mainly unspoken but which we mere wage slaves don't have.

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:23:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyBeagleEyes Sat 25-May-13 19:24:55

Yes farmers do work hard, but not vocal about it?
They're some of the biggest moaners of them all.

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:25:45

I love the Archers too grin

And I never know how Pat and Tony manage to have a shop, a veg box scheme, dairy cows, a yogurt and ice cream business and now ready meals with just 4 of them plus a few extras!

kim147 Sat 25-May-13 19:27:27

Feels the need to mention sausages and ready meals.

DoTheBestThingsInLifeHaveFleas Sat 25-May-13 19:28:25

Havn't read the whole thread, so apologies if I have missed something, but this is a big bug bear for me. Farmers work REALLY hard. Dairy farmers the most. If you are farming animals the profit margin is soooooo tiny, and affording staff is a luxury. Nearly all the farming families I grew up with have now diverified and just farm as a hobby on the side. Yes it is something they 'choose' to go into I suppose. But really when it is in your blood, and its a generations old family business, its hard to chuck it all in and work somewhere else. Urrrr where or what that something else might be I don't know, either. Sorry for the rant, it's just that I constantly have to justify how hard my 'farmer friends' work to all my town dwelling friends who are in sales or management and bleat on constantly about how stressed and overworked they are, whilst we are all supping wine in the sunshine, before heading off on a mini break for the weekend. I know they are just unwinding, but when they complain a tractor has held them up in traffic or 5 mins I want to scream!!!!

kim147 Sat 25-May-13 19:28:31

It's quieter in winter, isn't it?

Mind you, that's based on a Tractor Ted video showing the seasons.

abitlikemollflanders Sat 25-May-13 19:29:30

had plenty of sympathy Until I read the teachers comment. Then the holiday they are all having this week. I know plenty of teachers and they all seem to be writing reports this week so don't confuse the children being off with the teachers being on holiday!

The suggestion about farmhands not having the same time off should help surely?

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 19:30:24

Farmers don't moan? don't make me laugh-they are never off the tv whinging about something-and again they are subsidised! I have never met a poor farmer btw.

If you are a partner in a law firm you must make a very nice living so surely can easily afford a holiday with dcs without dh?<would be living the high life if my dh were ever a partner>

DoTheBestThingsInLifeHaveFleas Sat 25-May-13 19:31:18

p.s. Not bashing sales people or stressed managers (I am both), just saying that farmers get a hard deal :@)

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:33:21

Kim. It's actually worse in winter. Cows in sheds need mucking out twice daily as well as milking, whereas in summer cows are outside so don't need to scrape.

Summer tends to have peaks and troughs; so silaging and harvesting are busy but otherwise tends to be quieter for dairy.

Hello DO the best things! Enjoy ranting...someone will be here to flame us again soon grin

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:35:52

A shoe thing, do you like going on holiday without your DH?

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:36:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

abitlikemollflanders Sat 25-May-13 19:36:29

rom your later posts you seem to be annoyed because the perception people have of farming is very different from the reality yet you go on to mention the perception people have of teachers-that you must see is equally wrong.
Looking in as an outsider most jobs seem to compare favourably to your own, it is only when you live the reality that you understand the stresses/difficulties. that is why you are so defensive about farming but equally itis why other people get annoyed at the perception people seem to hold of teachers or doctors or retail workers etc...

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 19:37:21

I would bloody love to go on holiday without my dh!

Ps-you didn't answer my question about the oodles you must earn as a partner in a law firm?

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 19:39:26

No I ont know many-I only know 3. But the 3 of them are loaded. But I grew up right next to a farm and the farmer was a twat so it may have coloured my views. Still don't believe there is such a thing as a poor farmer.

Besides as a partner in law firm surely her dh doesn't need to work all those hours as his wife will be earning a fair whack?

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:41:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:42:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maudpringle Sat 25-May-13 19:43:03

No body else works harder than a farmer.Fact.
They are always poor too (driving to market in brand/nearly new landrover)
<Spent childhood in farming area>

xylem8 Sat 25-May-13 19:44:49

makes up for all those years they were paid to not do anything ie set aside

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:45:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GentleOtter Sat 25-May-13 19:46:28

Yes, farmers work long and erratic hours, they love a good moan about anything but the weather most of all. Or supermarkets. I think mine is living in the cowshed this week as we are calving and he works every day of the year including Christmas and New Year. He sometimes comes back to sleep.

We cannot take on extra workers so dh and I work together. Ds is old enough for school now and God bless the teachers for giving him an education where I failed miserably with home ed.

I won't trot out the old chestnut "It's a way of life" but just did but through time, you all adapt and get used to it.
You will see enough of your dh when he retires. Keep hold of that thought...

ZZZenagain Sat 25-May-13 19:47:34

if your dh is putting in those kinds of hours, obviously your family life is suffering but I don't know if there is an answer to it. Very hard for you, him and the dc.

My dd has always feltcdrawn to farming, she thinks it is the ideal life but I have told her farmers work incredibly hard, very long hours. Diseases amongst livestock, bad weather , you can be a step away from disaster a lot of themtime.

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:50:12

A shoe.
I'm not moaning about my pay. But my pay packet last month was less than 4 figures. Not the king's ransom you assume that I receive.
How much do you earn?

Hey, gentle, don't say you failed.

Sorry, I don't know your circumstances with your DS but that seems an unnecessarily harsh thing to say about yourself, especially when you're working so hard.

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 19:51:35

Aaahh but I sacrifice the oodles of money I could make king to be a sahm-its have its benefits and pitfalls as any other choice has.

And I never disputed that the ops dh didn't work long hours-Im sure he does. My own dh works from 6am to 8pm or later mon-fri and also has to work at weekends. But he is not earning a fortune for it and I can bet we not living the same kind of lifestyle the op and her dh are so I think I shall save my sympathy for those who have to work shit long hours but also take home shit money for it.

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:52:22

<waves to Gentle, who used to be on the harvest widows thread>

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 19:53:48

What percentage of the profit do you take home each year lady?-I have also worked for a law firm and have never met a partner who didn't get decent bonuses?

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:55:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 19:56:09

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Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 19:56:57

I'm not an equity partner. All the responsibility with none of the benefits. Meet the one who doesn't get decent bonuses. Mine was £100 last year.

You have no idea what my lifestyle is. So please refrain from commenting. Put it this way, we couldn't afford for me to be a SAHM like you.

ZillionChocolate Sat 25-May-13 19:57:23

I have a stressful job with long hours for reasonable pay but not enough to make it feel worthwhile. I'd hate to be a farmer. It's physically demanding, you have the stress of running a business and it's relentless. The farmers I know might be asset rich, but they all seem cash poor. I accept there will be rich ones, but I'm not sure it's the norm.

I wouldn't envy the OP for her job either, if her firm does legal aid I expect it's a shit job getting shitter.

If anyone knows an easy lucrative and rewarding job, do tell!

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 19:58:45

I presume-perhaps wrongly-that as the op is a partner in a law firm she must be earning a fair whack. As I said I have worked in the legal profession and I have never met a partner who earned less than 60 grand a year-and many who were on a lot more than that.

Op would have got a lot fairer responses on here if she hadn't decided to be arsey about teachers-who imo work a lot harder than lawyers!

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 20:00:16

I cant afford not to be a sahm as we cant afford childcare for 3 dcs. I bet your dh makes more in a year than my dh does though-care to share?

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 20:00:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Sat 25-May-13 20:01:53

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Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 20:02:21

I said in my opinion king-so no actually you may not disabuse me of the notion.

Ashoething Sat 25-May-13 20:04:10

Where did I mention misery king?-I merely replied in kind to a comment made by the op about me being a sahm.

I hope your situation improves-living on benefits must be a worrying time a the moment. All the best.

GentleOtter Sat 25-May-13 20:04:47

<waves back>!

LRD, thanks x

There are helplines for farming families and I will looks some up. Is your dh a member of a machinery ring? They are worth joining as they can offer help in the way of an extra worker, contractors to do silage, bailing etc and that can give your dh some time with you. They are not too expensive -

It is worth looking in the Farmer's Weekly or shouting on twitter for an ag student who is looking for experience.

It is impossible to try and set a date or time together as something always crops up <accidental pun alert>, cattle escape, sheep run away, bits fall off tractor... plus farmers seem to like falling asleep when they are not working.

I am shocked that you are cutting silage. Our grass has only started to grow in the last couple of weeks. <tundra>

EdvardMonsterMunch Sat 25-May-13 20:08:11

Bloody hell......some farmers work for a pittance, fact.
Some farmers work very long hours, fact.
Some farmers would rather be paid a decent price for cereals than rely on subsidies, fact.
All farmers choose to do their job.
Nobody made my DH do his job, he just kind of fell into it.

It's tough and sometimes we (as wives and mothers) feel it's unfair.
Let's stop comparing ourselves to others and just get on with it warts and all.

Sorry if i sound harsh but i'm sick to the back teeth of hearing nowt but complaining in the farming community.

If i didn't earn a decent wage then we'd be stuffed.
Fortunately i can support (at nearly 80%) the family.
If you can't afford to live then get yourself down to the jobcentre and find a job that pays.

Farming, in my opinion , is an expensive hobby. (DH doesn't's in his blood! Christ on a bike! He's an educated man with other possibilities!)

MrsPHollywood Sat 25-May-13 20:10:04

My DH and I are from farming families. We don't farm as such but have a very closely related business. Farming is relentless, not helped by the incredibly wet summers we have had in the past few years.

It's not as easy as just hiring more staff. Good farm labourers cost a lot of money. Relatives who know what they are doing are nearly always rushed off their feet at the same times as you.

It's a bit rude to continually ask the OP about her salary/profit share. She's not complaining about the money. She wants to see more of her husband.

Ladyflip Sat 25-May-13 20:26:23

Yes it is rude to keep asking me.

Perhaps you would like to share your DH's salary Ashoe?

An ag student would be a good idea. As I said, its been a bad week with an ill relief and the herdsman on holiday.

GentleOtter Sat 25-May-13 20:27:11

Agree that it is not as easy as hiring more staff but the OP wants to spend more time with her dh and it might be the only way to get a break from the farm if there are no relatives to help. Neighbouring farmers will be working flat out just now.

Ladyflip, are there any other farmer's wives nearby who you could speak to? Perhaps they might have some solutions how you and dh can spend some time together.

Foxred10 Sat 25-May-13 20:34:34

Ashoething I have never heard anything so ridiculous. Yes there are wealthy farmers but far far more who barely scrape by on the poverty line - on top of working incredibly long hours in all weathers.

To day there is no such thing as a poor farmer is lazy, ignorant and downright ill informed. I work in this industry BTW (not farming directly) and the grinding poverty I've seen in some farming families would genuinely shock you.

This is a different issue to that which the OP raised (and equally as serious) but I refuse to let it go by.

I would (politely) suggest that you wouldn't last a week on a working family farm hmm

GentleOtter Sat 25-May-13 20:42:26

Ashoething - you are welcome to come and see for yourself and help out.
We could not pay you nor guarantee your safety if you drank the water nor give you a hurl in a brand new BMW but you would have lovely rosy cheeks and a cockerel to take home.
We could invite other farmers round and you could tell them how rich they all were. They would love that.

bellybulger Sat 25-May-13 20:43:18

Sorry but I crave your life. I work hard for admittedly good money but we have looked many times to farm. Truth is we can't afford to set up. So suck it up or sell up and try a different way of life.No one is making you do this.

GentleOtter Sat 25-May-13 20:55:26

bellybulger, farmers tend to hope for the best and keep going although RSABI have noted a huge increase in calls for help. Weather, disease and other problems have taken their toll on farming for the past few years.

The option to sell up is not one if you are a tenant, for example.
True that nobody forces anyone to farm but it is all my dh knows as 5th generation farmer. It is what we do. If you eat meat, bread or porridge then it may have been raised on our farm.

If supermarkets paid the producers fairly then things might be better for the farmer.

I believe the original issue was that the OP wanted to spend more time with her husband?

quoteunquote Sat 25-May-13 21:01:14

Farming is relentless, in a way almost no other job is, farming in this country is on it's knees,

I'm involved, through work, families and friends, the OP is not in an unusual position it a common story,

I take my hat off to all of our farmers, they are up against a horrific set of circumstances.

it's shitty what is happing to british farming, we will be regretting allowing it to be destroyed for a long time.

Spikeytree Sat 25-May-13 21:20:03

I'm from a farming family. It is relentless, yes, but they do it because they love it. They couldn't do anything else. My sister and brother-in-law get up at 4, they have to milk and sort out the animals before doing the milk round, the day finishes when everything is done and at lambing/calving time it might not finish at all. They would not give it up for the world (well, my sister hates the milk round, so maybe she'd be happy to let that go, but that's the bit that earns money!) It was my nana and granddad's farm, then my mums.

Perhaps it works best when both partners in the relationship work on the farm together? Lucky you getting a holiday together at some point, though. Standard in our family is to go to the seaside once and then say you've seen it, why would you need to go again? The occasional day at the county show is as far as holidays go.

Me? I'm a vegetarian teacher. I do help out with lambing (I have tiny hands) and haymaking. It's more knackering than my job but I'd rather reason with a cow than a 15 year old.

lilystem Sun 26-May-13 06:24:31

Great to see some support for farmers here.

For those saying they choose to do it, yes they do. But who exactly is going to grow/rear their food and maintain the countryside - it's not exactly a disposable job, someone has to do it.

Ehhn Sun 26-May-13 10:12:45

I think the comparison between teachers and farming has just come up because it is half term so I guess op has her kids at home. I'm sure it's not personal. Teachers definitely have the longest holidays of all professions, but also have a serious limit on earnings and very tightly arranged scale for promotion (at least in the state sector). It is a choice though. Farming is a choice, but it is also a lifestyle that can run deeper than that. It isn't just a job, it's a way of being and living.

(Family of beef farmers; I work in HE).

quoteunquote Sun 26-May-13 10:52:15

Teachers definitely have the longest holidays of all professions,

really? evidence please?

Farming is a choice

rather good job someone makes that choice then, shakes head and wanders off.

janey68 Sun 26-May-13 11:06:03

Oh fgs- is this still going? Surely every job has pros and cons, and also unless you've had a significant chunk of experience in every kind of job in the world then you aren't actually going to understand all the pressures, particularly the hidden ones.

Also what is a pressure for one person isn't necessarily a pressure for someone else. I am neither a farmer or a teacher but I would prefer to manage a herd of cows than a herd of adolescents. For other people its the other way around.

Sounds like the OP and her hubby need to retrain as teachers as they seem so envious of them.

Rindercella Sun 26-May-13 11:33:20

janey, I guess the thing with a herd of cows is that you can't just hand them back to the parents at the end of the day. They need to be cared for 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If it's your farm, you have ultimate responsibility for them and therefore if farmhands are on holiday, or off sick, then you have no choice but to look after them. If you are on your knees sick, you still have to look after them. I know of some dairy farmers who now milk three times a day. It can be gruelling and relentless. Yes, it is a choice - of course we all have choices, but most farmers go into it because their parents farmed, and their grandparents...

OP, I am pleased you're going away as a family in July. It is so important to have that time out. My dad was a dairy farmer and he always made sure we had a family holiday together every year. As well as the farmhand we had, he would get his brother & family to come and stay at the farm while we were away.

To all those saying farmers don't have it tough, did you know that farming has one of the highest suicide rates of all professions. So some farmers' wives become not just "harvest widows", but actual widows (believe me, there is a vast difference between the two).

This is for Ashoe who seems to think that farmer's are raking it in.
Source: Dairy Co. uk/Farmer's Weekly - bear in mind this is income not profit....

Specifically for dairy farms, average Farm Business Income is forecasted to drop to £50,000, approximately 40% lower than the previous year. While average milk prices and prices for cull, store and finished cattle all increased over the 12 months, a number of other factors have caused an overall decrease. Lower production levels and increasing input costs, mainly feed, have meant the year has been tough. It was not just the cost of feed that had an impact but the extra volume needed as grazing conditions have been average to impossible since the summer. This has also meant home grown forage has suffered with quantity and quality.
In England, livestock farmers in less favoured areas (LFAs) are set to see a 52% reduction in income to an average of £14,000, while the pig sector will see incomes fall by half to £19,000.

The English poultry sector is likely to have fared the best, with no change in predicted income of £41,000.

In Northern Ireland, the picture is similar. Dairy farmers are estimated to have seen a 53% drop to £27,462.

No one is denying that other professions have a hard time, but I have to dispute the implication that you never see a poor farmer.

janey68 Sun 26-May-13 11:46:53

But you also have to factor in other things. The farmers around where I live don't seem to be cash rich at all, generally. I know one tenant farmer whose 3 children are privately educated but most certainly don't seem well off HOWEVER they mostly live in lovely period farmhouses which would be beyond the financial reach of 99% of our local population. Now, I'm not being naive: I'm sure there are some leaky roofs and these families can't always afford to maintain the property as they'd wish. BUT they are still living their life in a very attractive home with stacks of outdoor and indoor space.
In other words- swings and roundabouts. The debate could go on forever- someone is bound to come back and tell me some more disadvantages of being a farmer. We could do this for any occupation.

Ashoething Sun 26-May-13 12:33:47

27 to 50 grand is a pretty good income if you are living in the family farm house and don't have a mortgage to pay. Yep I agree with janeyall the farmers kids I have known have gone to private schools and imo if you can afford to educate privately you are NOT poor.

stargirl1701 Sun 26-May-13 12:46:55

OP, you need a robot milking parlour! I saw one on Countryfile recently. The cows choose when to milk themselves! Amazing technology.

I married a farmer's boy smile From where I'm sitting, they love the job. Love it. Hours and all.

viewwitharoom Sun 26-May-13 12:56:03

I do have sympathy with OP as yes farming esp dairy is relentless. I don't know why she feels she has to comment on, or rather slag off, the holidays of other professions though! And what a surprise that she selected teaching.
I am a teacher in a rural community. I wouldn't want to farm (for a whole load of reasons not just the hours.) Most of my neighbours are farmers who tell me they wouldn't want my job, probably because I am teaching their kids! Each to their own I guess.

KingRollo Sun 26-May-13 13:45:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ashoething Sun 26-May-13 17:42:40

No thanks king-I am aware that where I live 27 grand is a lovely income-maybe its not for others though. Certainly probably not enough to privately educate your kids but hey ho.

The best quote on this thread that sums it up perfectly was farming is an expensive hobby.

Rindercella Sun 26-May-13 20:13:32

Ashoe, perhaps all farmers should give up their expensive hobbies then and then everyone can pay more a lot more money for their milk, cheese, butter, eggs, beef, pork, cereal, chicken, lamb, etc., then. Oh, and all the countryside can be sold off and developed so you will no longer enjoy beautiful landscapes when travelling through the countryside.

You speak from pure ignorance. In fact, your posts are some of the most ignorant I have read on here. So all farmers privately educate their kids then? How the hell do you know how that is funded? And where that happens, perhaps it's through the mothers' income, or by kind grandparents.

And you really do need to educate yourself on the difference between income and profit. Your husband's a lawyer you say? Interesting.

KingRollo Sun 26-May-13 20:15:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KingRollo Sun 26-May-13 20:15:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Sun 26-May-13 20:17:49

I think your very valid point was totally sidelined when you started teacher bashing tbh.

Ashoething Sun 26-May-13 20:22:32

The op left herself open to a flaming-she did say flame away remember? when she decided to be snide about teachers.

hopipolla Sun 26-May-13 20:26:53

YABU farmers across Europe have been ripping off the taxpayer through the CAP for years

EBearhug Sun 26-May-13 20:27:30

I grew up on a farm, and the only thing I ever remember my parents arguing about where the hours he worked. At least we lived there, so we did get to see him (and I have some very fond memories of picnic teas in the harvest field.) But I don't think it was coincidence he had a heartattack one October after a particularly hard harvest.

My mother always insisted we went away in spring and autumn, so he really got a break (if we stayed home, people would still have been calling in, phoning and so on.) There were enough people on the farm to allow this, but how many farms have that option these days?

(A friend was thinking about a change of career. "I'm thinking of something more relaxing, like running a dairy farm," he said. He doesn't still think it would be relaxing.)

Believe me, hopipolla the 'taxpayer' would have to pay a hell of a lot more to maintain the area we farm which has huge environmental and tourism value. The fact that we can rear a few sheep and cows on it and scrape a living (the HMRC investigated us after we took over the farm as they couldn't believe we would drop to a 3rd of our previous earnings) means that a wee subsidy to make sure we keep in the black (most of the time) is all that it costs.

Dh works incredibly hard here, but we live on the farm (and it's on a small island) so I actually see much more of him now, the DC get to spend time working with him and have done since the were tiny. When DH gets down about things I always say remind him he is living the dream (sometimes sarcastically!) but the truth is he would (and I would) hate to be back working in an office.

Twattybollocks Sun 26-May-13 21:21:18

Yanbu, with the exception of the comment about the teachers. It always pisses me off when people think all farmers are rolling in it and have a jolly life. Reality is its not like that at all. Farming is bloody hard work, more hard work, and then to top it all off, some more hard work. Then you get years like foot and mouth, when livelihoods were destroyed, and last year (and quite possibly this year) when the weather was so godawful that the fields were waist deep in mud in places and even the bloody tractors were getting stuck. It was soul destroying for some of my friends watching their income rotting in the fields, helpless to do anything about it.

Doubtitsomehow Sun 26-May-13 21:22:41

Feel your pain, op. Dairy is tough.

I also work off-farm, and honestly, the job is a bit of a salvation. Own life and all that.

If it's driving you mental - and DH and I have been not far off divorce in the past, except that he would never have had time to bloody deal with it- can you tell him that once he's back to full staffing, he will need to take over the domestics for a day? Non-negotiable.

I have to travel for work, and I honestly feel that is the only thing which prevents dH from taking me totally for granted. He means well, but The Farm has a sacred status which I seemingly don't (also moved back home from job elsewhere...) I sympathise.

ArabellaBeaumaris Sun 26-May-13 21:23:07

slightly off topic, but YouCantTeuchThis, did you move to the island to farm? Did you farm before or was it a total change? DP constantly browses smallholding listings but we are city dwelling dreamers!

Yup -family farm. Moved whilst I was on Mat leave and I now work remotely from home (part time). Complete change - both worked in office jobs, flat, mortgage, car, gym membership, fave local takeaway, blah, blah...
Best thing we ever did, although it is very hard work and living away from my family and lots of our friends came with its own challenges.
I grew up in a city - no farming background and people laugh heartily when they hear where I am now grin

Lostmykeys Sun 26-May-13 21:53:11

Had no idea there were so many farmers wives on here. Interesting thread... I'm a teacher married to a farmer. Tables turned this week, I'm working and he is taking kids on holiday! I could rant for hours about the injustice if being in the same boat as a single parent, but I've found the only person it upsets is me.
Few people understand, they see a rural idyll when they come round, not the rest of the crap. Worth pointing out that farming and teaching are worst possible combo, we ever get away in the summer and I swap working at school to delivering diesel and making copious teas.

WandOfElderNeverProsper Sun 26-May-13 22:19:35

Ashore 27k is a good income? Really? really? I'm from one of the poorest areas in the country, in the middle of an unemployment blackspot - and even I know that that isn't that good. Let's assume for a minute, as you seem to be doing, that the 27k income was the farmers personal income. Which its not. But let's assume. Cause you seem to like that. So...

Let's assume the OPs DP works 108 a week as an average (she said this week but I'm guessing its around average).

Let's assume the 27k is spread evenly throughout the year, yielding a monthly income of £2250.

So we take 2250 and divide by 432 (hours worked in a four week period) and we get drum roll...

£5.20 per hour!

Fuckin' hell OP , get thee down to Louis Vuitton for some luggage for the luxury forgein holiday you can totally go on with all that cash and annual leave your DP gets!!

Haha, fuckin' hell.

For comparison, I work in a horrible globally MASSIVE retailer who give not one solitary shit about me. I get 5 weeks annual leave and if I were to work 108h a week I'd be earning over 37k a year. 10k extra for stacking shelves, sitting on a till and taking holidays.

Looking pretty shitty right?

Then we remember that the 27k isn't for the farmer. And it all falls apart from there.

And I still have the worst job and I still win grin

WandOfElderNeverProsper Sun 26-May-13 22:21:30

Ahh bugger. Ashoe not ashore! That'll be the autocorrect on the totally awesome top of the range phone OP bought me, with all her disposable income from her super rich husband. [Wink]

quizzywizz Sun 26-May-13 22:29:55

I always dreamt of marrying a farmer - having chickens and making jam and sewing and being the little wife at home. Childhood dreams ... not too realistic somehow!

WandOfElderNeverProsper Sun 26-May-13 22:35:24

quizzywizz all my knowledge of farmers wives comes from Enid Blyton - and I think of old wooden tables with a snowy white cloth heavily laden with cream and milk and cheese and bread and a ham, fresh boiled eggs and a few pies etc. All washed down with lashings of ginger beer!

quizzywizz Sun 26-May-13 22:37:13

Enid Blyton plus Darling Buds of May for me!

Still like the idea - bit of a country girl at heart I guess.

Imsosorryalan Sun 26-May-13 22:57:01

Not wanting to add fuel to the fire. Doesn't it depend on the type of farming as to how any hours / pay you bring home?
The only two farming families I know are arable farmers with an inherited farm.
One buys a new range rover every year and multiple holidays after harvest. The other has just bought a half a million house on the farms overdraft and expects to pay it off in a couple of years! Yes, they work hard and have no family life for most of the year but there are perks ..

Rindercella Sun 26-May-13 23:28:03

Janey, I have just picked up on what you said about farmers living in lovely period properties. True, some do. But you shouldn't assume that's what everyone wants to do. I know my mother never particularly liked the farm house when we were growing up - it was cold (flippin' freezing in the winter actually), it was damp, it was dusty (from the solid fuel range in the kitchen). Mostly though, it wasn't her choice of home - it was where we had to live as it was part of the business.

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 08:54:35

Yes- but neither do most people have the choice of home they'd like- unless perhaps they're a millionaire with no commute! The reality for most people is hefty mortgages or rent, often on shoe box houses with postage stamp gardens, which themselves come with myriad problems such as damp, maintenance, huge bills or a landlord who can serve notice in 2 months.

I acknowledged that not all farming families will be able to heat or maintain the house as they'd like. But these homes are often Far in excess of what other people in the locality could ever live in. They are usually spacious, with stacks of outdoor space, enough bedrooms for a large family and a secure tenure for many years.

Like I've said all along, it's swings and roundabouts . A farmer trades off long hours of physical work for the benefits in other ways of the lifestyle. Other workers may not put in the same quantity of hours, but may have to deal with difficult dangerous situations, or spend all day managing or dealing with other people, which can be equally stressful just not in the same way

Doubtitsomehow Mon 27-May-13 10:08:18

You are making the assumption that 'the lifestyle' is some desirable thing which others, and farmers themselves, aspire to.

That is completely false. It's the view of someone who reads what they believe in magazines.

It's not a 'lifestyle choice'. It's a way of earning a living, and to go with that, you get (not choose) a house to live in, sometimes (our case) a damp- ridden pile in the middle or nowhere which there is no money or time to repair, and you graft, as the op's husband does, 7 days a week. That's not a 'lifestyle' thanks. It's pretty much the only option for people like my dh. Are you a teacher by any chance??

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 10:14:19

Goodness, there seems to be a lot of antipathy towards both famers and lawyers on this thread.
FWIW, although I don't see that it is relevant, I don't live in a spacious farmhouse. Naturally, the ILs live in that and DH and I are in the cottage that is apparently too small for them.wink. Again, I haven't moaned about that (although I do to my DH) as again, I have enough sense to see that others could be jealous of where I live. But it is certainly not "spacious", we have three bedrooms, one of which is tiny. Like the finances, (which is also not something I have complained about on this thread)its ok but it's not so fantastic that it compensates for our lifestyle.

Again, FWIW, our children are not privately educated. I have already explained my own financial position (not that it should be necessary).

This thread was about the ridiculous hours my DH has worked last week. Dairy farmers work relentlessly long hours and I was pissed off with other people moaning about how hard they have it and being envious of my "lifestyle".

As to bellybulgers comment, I would ask whether you actually have children? Because quite frankly, you are breathtaking in your attitude. You are the only person on this thread who has thought that working 108 hours in a week is acceptable.

I have both apologised for and explained about the teacher comment.

Ashoe has been particularly rude, goading and ignorant. I'm presuming its jealousy. I hope her DH doesn't take up a hobby that occupies him for 108 hours per week.

Janey has at least engaged on an intellectual level. I would point out that farming is one of the most dangerous professions, suffers high suicide rates and some of the longest hours worked. Not much of a trade off for a big house that is so cold in winter that your glass of water by your bed freezes over. Having said that, DH would agree with you that he would rather look after 180 cows than 180 teenagers.

And that's the point really. My DH loves farming, and those who are married to farmers or are farmers themselves know that farmers are born, not made. Nobody would put up with working 108 hours per week if they hated it, even if they earned vast fortunes. But for those left in the cottage, running the house, looking after DC, trying to organise time out together, going to bank holiday activities solo, cooking large meals to feed the hungry farmer, well, we have days when we find it miserable. I was pissed off by comments made by some people and came on here to vent, only to find myself a target for others who still labour under the belief that there is a payoff in "lifestyle".

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 10:21:36

Doubtitsomehow- try reading the thread: I said quite a few posts ago that I am neither a farmer nor a teacher. And neither do I base my view of occupations on what I read in magazines. It's simple life experience and common sense which enables most people to see that every occupation has advantages and disadvantages, and that it's pointless to bat back and forth doing the competitive suffering game.

Doubtitsomehow Mon 27-May-13 10:24:36

Aw ladyflip. I hope your DH recognises what you put in.

Sometimes I wish I could lobotomise myself to become a sort of stepford wife who accepts that the natural order of things is The Farm first and last. But I can't.

And the idea of this being a 'lifestyle choice' is total bollocks to those of us who are actually living it.

Hang in there (and hold on to your job).....and do make sure your DH takes over at least for a few hours. He has to recognise your contribution too.

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 10:27:28

Oh Yes, Doubtit, that job is gold to me. Hence, despite probably being the worst paid lawyer in the world, I don't complain about it.

VerySmallSqueak Mon 27-May-13 10:37:23

I have no doubt some farmers work ridiculously hard and live on near-breadline levels.
I have no doubt there is some middle ground.
The farmers I know personally work very long hours,but could most definitely shorten those hours by taking on even more very low paid workers but they are too busy lining their pockets.

Unfortunately the last group make it harder for the farmers, who are struggling, to make their voices heard.

Good luck to you OP and I hope there's a let-up for you soon.

Rindercella Mon 27-May-13 10:57:42

janey you spectacularly missed the point I was making. Thankfully Doubtit clearly didn't - most often, when farmers select a farm it is down to acreage, buildings, road access, fit for purpose, etc. The actual house and location come very low down on the list. The farm is bought as a business first and foremost. That is a very, very different thing to buying a house just to live in. Oh, and funnily enough, much like most normal folk, most farmers do actually have to pay mortgages or rent too.

You quite clearly glean your information on the lifestyle of farmers from Sunday evening light entertainment programmes. Of course, these show the idyll and are about as far away from the sometimes brutal reality than you can get.

Rindercella Mon 27-May-13 11:04:58

This is a true story and always made my Dad laugh...

My uncle used to work for the Ministry of Agriculture and inspected farms in East Anglia. One day he went to a huge farm. It was apparently stunning - several thousand acres, beautiful main house, cottages, the crops were going well, etc. The farm manager was showing him around when up drove the farmer in a brand spanking new Range Rover. The farmer was a right miserable bastard and ranted and raved for a bit before getting back in his car and roaring off. My uncle commented to the manager that the farmer was a bit of a miserable git and the manager replied (in a very broad Norfolk accent)...

"Boy, the day you meet a happy farmer you want to get down on your knees and pray cos you're talking to God Almighty Himself"


janey68 Mon 27-May-13 11:07:13

And you are spectacularly missing the point that the vast majority of the population are restricted in house rental/ purchase by finances, location , workplace, public transport....
The bottom line is: we all make choices within the parameters of those available to us, and someone who goes into farming presumably does it because they prefer it to the alternatives. Indeed, the OP said her husband "loves" his job, so he's already got that as an advantage over many other people who aren't able to do the job they'd love

Anyway, as I said, the competitive suffering game is pointless and not particularly attractive. There are people out there desperate for any job at all, so whinging about the job your partner has chosen to do wont elicit huge sympathy on a general forum.

Rindercella Mon 27-May-13 11:09:30

And farmers aren't restricted by all of those things??!

You really aren't showing much evidence of any intelligence here janey smile

Doubtitsomehow Mon 27-May-13 11:15:01

Nobody's doing competitive suffering Janey. The op was pissed off at her DH working so many hours. That feeling is shared by many of us who have dh's in the same line of work. She's allowed to vent.

And no, farming isn't a choice in the same way that other professions are a choice. N time to explain it here, but basically if that's what you're raised to do since birth, it's much harder to opt out later on.

Getting involved with your partner when they are working on the farm/ doing something ele is totally different to when they are running it. Particularly when kids come into it, and you have your own job too.

Signing out now as kids need me. But honestly it is not as straightforward as you imply.

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 11:17:32

Erm... Read the thread. I didn't say farmers aren't without restrictions. I was simply pointing out that EVERYONE else is too!

Bottom line- farming is an occupation. It has upsides and downsides like any other occupation. If its so bloody awful then don't do it . (Though the ops husband loves it so hardly relevant anyway!)

Wuldric Mon 27-May-13 11:35:29

I sympathise with you that your DH seems to be working too hard. I am not sure whether or not you were looking for anything more than that.

One point concerns me though that you are a salaried partner in a law firm - I am guessing High St - predominantly legal aid - and you presumably have signing rights and quite a lot of responsibility. Yet your take-home pay was less than four figures in one month? That's extraordinarily low.

You're the one with the ability to increase your earnings. Might you think about another job? If nothing else it would pay for some help while your DH takes a break.

Rindercella Mon 27-May-13 13:19:47

So Janey, by your reasoning all occupations are the same, and carry the same highs and lows as all other occupations? So soldiers have comparable hardships to accountants; retail workers have comparable hardships to oil riggers?

My DH had quite a senior job in IT. We had our moans - sometimes long hours, etc., but in no way did we have a hard a life as my parents did. I sometimes feel a little sorry for myself now - widowed mother to two young children. But perspective has allowed me to see that actually some people really do have it harder. My MIL was one of those - widowed with 5 children between the ages of 4 and 9 with next to no money and no family support. Rather than sit here and think I have it just as bad as she did (I really don't), she is instead my inspiration.

Some people do have it harder than others. That is a fact, it has nothing to do with competitive hardship. The OP was complaining that her DH had just done a 108 hour week. In her shoes I would moan about that too!

You seem incredibly naive, and based on what you have written throughout this thread, I can only assume that naivety comes from the comfort of ignorance.

ComposHat Mon 27-May-13 13:29:52

Yes it must be exhausting claiming all those subsidies, driving dangerously overloaded tractors at rush hour down A-roads and shagging the sheep.

You see op it isn't nice when other people make ignorant and ill informed comments about other people's jobs.

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 14:15:36

God rindercella- do you actually wilfully not read people's posts, and just formulate in your own mind what people have written!!

I have said consistently from the start that this sort of competitive whinging is pointless precisely BECAUSE all occupations carry DIFFERENT pressures. There are pros and cons to everything. And that because people are all different, you can't even assume that what is a pressure for one person is the same to another. Like I said, managing several hundred teenagers a week would be my idea of sheer hell. Which is why I'm not a teacher. I also wouldn't be keen on working outdoors in all weather- hence farming not my cuppa either.

The ops husband loves his job. It therefore seems pointless her to complain and slag off other occupations. Especially when has been pointed out: ^ he^ may be the one who gets the job tied to a particular house but not so much earning potential, but she is the one with the potential to earn more and could do so, enabling him to buy in more help to create more family time. If he would be happy to do that. Sounds like he may prefer doing it himself

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 14:22:06

Ps and there's also the point I made several dozen posts back that that's not even counting the hidden pressures in jobs. Which are perhaps the worst ones of all, precisely because no one else knows about.
I'm not saying anything from a position of ignorance: precisely the opposite: i am saying because we don't all know what it's like to do every single job in the universe, what is the point of making snarky OPs like this one, slagging off other people's jobs without knowing even the basic facts about them (see upthread for ops assertion about paid holiday!)
Composhats post above shows exactly why the OP won't get much sympathy

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 27-May-13 14:39:30

Op's mistake was to put that snarky comment about teachers in.
She has since apologised, and if it hadn't been for that the thread would probably have gone in a totally different direction.

ExcuseTypos Mon 27-May-13 14:55:06

My DH came form a farming family and farmed for the first 10 years we were married.

It is relentless. Livestock don't stick to timetables and so you are on call 24/7. At the time, farmers had the highest incidence of suicide so I think that says something.

Luckily DH had a hobby which he managed to turn into another very successful career. It's been such a different life and I don't miss the farm one bit. Neither does DH.

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 14:57:50

Ladybeagleyes- true

And the apology only came after she realised the thread wasnt going in the direction she liked... Funny, that.

CherylTrole Mon 27-May-13 15:01:12

YABU as you are married to a farmer. Most of them worship money.

CherylTrole Mon 27-May-13 15:11:42

Oh and I HATE being stuck behind tractors on the road. Wish they would stick to the countryside grin [selfish]

CherylTrole Mon 27-May-13 15:12:32

*[selfish]= farmers driving tractors

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 16:19:14

Janey, WHAT assertion about paid holiday??? The only thing I have said about paid holiday is that I believe everyone with a job is entitled to paid leave. Please point out where I have said otherwise.

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 16:21:17

CherylTrole grin

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 16:23:34

Who on earth should pay the farmer to take time off? Or indeed any self employed person?! Bizarre!

CherylTrole Mon 27-May-13 16:26:22

grin Love your NN Ed!
OP could I just ask if you have ever donned your Hunters and shovelled some shite to help out your poor DH?

CherylTrole Mon 27-May-13 16:29:06

If farmers get paid leave then so should SAHMs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 16:48:27

Actually I said on the first page of this thread that I was wrong to say anything about teachers, it has now been going for 7 pages so I don't think my apology came when I "realised the thread wasn't going in the direction I liked". It came early and sincerely.

Janey, you are right. Farmers and other self employed people don't get paid holidays. But I do think that most people who work should earn enough to take a break from it from time to time. Perhaps you would be happy with that?

You clearly have an agenda that means you are not about to back down despite several others on this thread telling you that you are wrong. I have apologised for causing offence (which you noticeably have not). You point out that there are pressures in all jobs that we don't know about. Perhaps you could take this as an opportunity to learn about some of those from the posters on this thread rather than continuing to deride them?

Your solution is that I should work longer hours to pay for my DH to have additional help on the farm. For many reasons this is not a good idea. But the main one is this. If I worked, say, an additional 20 hours to cover 20 hours of paid help, even if it worked that simplistically, my DH would still work nearly 90 hours a week. That's still more than most FT jobs. And my DC would see even less of a parent than they do now. It just doesn't seem to be a better compromise for them, does it?

And God help us if MN becomes the place where you aren't allowed to moan. Most threads would be deleted!

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 16:50:32

Course I have Cheryl. Just got back in from fetching the cows in for afternoon milking. grin

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 16:56:35

Ladyflip Stop keep defending yourself !

Those who have no experience of farming life (listening to The Archers does not count as being au fait!!), have no idea what we live day to day.

It's shite, i agree.

You've opened up a whole can of worms here on this thread !

Let's count our blessings...
1. We rarely see our DH (!)
2. We live in the country.
3. We breathe fresh air.
4. (can't think of anymore........feel free to add)

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 16:57:39

You're mistaken again OP- I'm not offering you a solution; it's down to you and your husband to decide how you want to run things. But from what you've told us, he loves his job so probably isn't about to make any changes.

MoreBeta Mon 27-May-13 16:59:08

Farmers do work too hard for the pay they get.

Until I was 21 I was a farmer. My Dad was a farmer until age 63. I was determined not to be a farmer for the rest of my life though because I knew the work was too hard and for too little pay. My Dad gave up when a cow almost killed him.

The last job I ever did on a farm was planting 60 acres of winter wheat in one day on my own. I got off the tractor and two week later was sat on a trading desk in the City of London earning many times what my Dad paid me - although the hours were similar and mostly sitting down and often quite boring.

Funny thing was I met a taxi driver in London and he told me he used to be a farm worker and driving a taxi to him was just the same as driving a tractor.

CherylTrole Mon 27-May-13 17:05:59

Well done OP some wimmin would be afraid to help out.
Ed the only experience I have of farming is The Archers actually blush Oh and DungDale/Emmerdale...

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 17:08:40

The thing about what constitutes a difficult or stressful job is difficult to quantify though isn't it morebeta?

I've come across quite a few people who tell me they could never do my job. Not because its physically dangerous or physically tiring , but because it involves regular presentations to large audiences. It's their idea or hell and they would hate it. Now, I find that hard to relate to because its not something which is a pressure to me. But then I would no doubt find their jobs stressful or difficult. Likewise, I'm sure the thought of being a city trader would be dreadful to some people.

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 17:12:18

Edvard I'm under relentless attack sad

4. Lots of fresh milk?

Perhaps we could ask Janey, as she seems to think the hours are a trade off for our fabulous lifestyle. wink

Janey, you said but she is the one with the potential to earn more and could do so, enabling him to buy in more help to create more family time. Sounds like you're offering solutions to me. I'm telling you why it doesn't work quite as easily as you make it sound.

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 17:17:12

Ignore them all, they're just jealous that we live in the lap of luxury that they pay for via EU subsidies!!! grin

5. We can shag our DH's in their workplace on hay bales !!!!

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 17:19:33

6. We can drive tractors !
7. We can provide a substantial meal for 15 at harvest time whilst holding down a full time job
8. We can wear Hunter's legitimately!

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 17:21:38

Oh yes, perhaps I'll do no.5 later wink

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 17:23:49

9. Your DH is a manly type who can fix anything with an adjustable spanner and some baling twine!

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 17:30:04

Number 5 isn't that comfy as you'll know if you've ever tried grin

Rant alert

I'm not a farmers wife but I am a farmers daughter. Mum may as well have been a single parent when me and my brothers were growing up, we barely saw my dad as he worked so hard for his parents on the promise that one day everything would be his.... yes including inheriting the mountains of debt pretty much every farm is in. Dad was pulled out of school by his dad whenever he was needed by the farm and basically has no qualifications (except a gun license and a chainsaw license) ... all you people saying he could just leave and get another job... what job exactly?

Never mind paying for farm hands Dad has never even paid himself a wage - if he did the farm wouldn't just be broke, it would be bankrupt. The family growing up lived off Mums wage, and as many have pointed out it helped that the house was mortgage free having been in the family for generations.... I don't think that amounts to a 'just' pay off though for working 18 hour days (22 hr days in lambing time) 7 days a week. I remember one christmas my Mum crying because she had dropped a £5 bottle of wine that was to be my aunty's present and she couldn't afford to buy another one, rich farmers eh?

Dad is in his 60s now and still working as hard as when he was 19, except everything takes longer because his back and his knees have gone. Neither of my brothers are interested as they see it as a mugs game and full time farming will never provide them with the standard of living the feel they should have. Both essentially work for free to help Dad out at busy times of year but both have their own 'trades' away from the farm.

Farmers are custodians of the countryside. If it wasn't for them there wouldn't be a managed and accessible countryside. I'm in awe of how easily people forget about where their food, animal or vegetable actually comes from and the work that has gone into getting it into their local TESCO.

I'm proud of being a farmer's daughter because I feel my Dad to some extent sacrificed his own lifelong health and wellbeing to look after the countryside, and put food on our and other people's tables. But it didn't half suck growing up not really seeing him, not having holidays and not ever really being able to rely on him being there because a calving cow doesn't care if its Christmas.

So there.

Rindercella Mon 27-May-13 17:31:16

grin at baling twine...tis farmers' solution to just about everything!

so all in all, I agree with Ladyflip

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 27-May-13 17:44:05

I come from a farming family and know the majority of farmers do work very long hours and tend not to be cash-rich. However, many are asset rich.

I guess I wonder why some farming families who are trying to get a smallish farm to support several adults (you know just like the archers) wink - well, why don't they sell up and pocket the proceeds of the many acres and farmhouse/outbuildings etc?

Is it that its just in the blood because for one family I know, its really just not financially doable any more and they would definitely be better off if they just sold up.

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 18:22:56

Baling twine or iron wire, we're fancy round these parts!!

10. One's DH is generally physically fit wink
11. You really appreciate those precious few days holiday
12. You can bring up DC's with a real sense of community

janey68 comfy or not, tis always a pleasure 'n never a chore!

janey68 Mon 27-May-13 18:35:10

Oh I agree tis always a pleasure, and with a bit of ingenuity you can find a haybarn without having to marry the farmer wink

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 18:40:52

Joking apart, i raised my 4 DS's practically single handedly until they got to an age to be able to roam/help around the farm.

My youngest is now 13 and spends most of his freetime helping.
This is his choice, no pressure.
He's the only one who has from the get go has seen farming as a "career".
It puts the fear of God into me.
I don't want any of my sons to have the life their Father has had.
I really don't think our farm is commercially viable now let alone in 10 years time.

Farming is truely in the blood as many posters have said.
It's a choice, a way of life which in my experience can be cruel and detrimental to family life.

What do you do? Ban your offspring from following a family tradition ?

I'm torn......

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 18:43:14

janey68 I found a haybarn and 3 months later had to marry the farmer !

TurkeyDino Mon 27-May-13 19:45:36

Farmer's wife here too. He puts in an 80-90 hour week at his parent's farm for a massive 210 quid a week. No holidays, no paternity leave, no sick leave. It terrifies me that my DS's may grow up and want to farm.

I had been together with DH less than 6 months when I fell pregnant and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It is v depressing doing everything alone with the kids and I am insanely jealous of people doing even the most mundane things 'as a family'. Still, I've made my bed as they say!

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 19:59:27

edvard you'll just have to hope he has an understanding wife who can either turn her hand to a career earning reasonable sums or is wealthy in her own right.

I have a DS too and try very hard to explain that farming should be an option not a pre determined career track.

Perhaps we need to start a new harvest widows thread....

13. In my experience (not THAT wide, but wide enough) all farmers are gagging for it and go like a steam train. grin

OwlinaTree Mon 27-May-13 20:07:27

Why do people have such a problem with teachers having a holiday? If you think it's such a doddle, then become a teacher.

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 20:12:05

Go and read the thread OwlinaTree.

OwlinaTree Mon 27-May-13 20:14:48

I'm just interested in that. So what if your teacher friends' partners have complained they work too hard. That's exactly what you have just complained about.

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 20:23:09

I'm not going to defend myself about this again. This isn't a thread about teachers, and I have never said that they shouldn't have a holiday.

Spikeytree Mon 27-May-13 21:45:53

I'm a teacher and I've been helping on the family farm today. Am I allowed a legitimate moan? smile A cow squashed my toe and it hurts.

EdvardMonsterMunch Mon 27-May-13 21:56:56

Ladyflip Yes indeed, gagging for it this end too.
Don't talk to me about the harvest.......can hardly walk!!!! (why oh why are they all like that at the busiest time of the year?!) confused blush

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 21:59:43

Ouch, Spikey, yes, you can have a legitimate moan.

May I suggest steel toe capped wellies for when a cow next steps on your foot? Not beautiful or glamorous but effective.

Wow, that sounds very stressful OP. Any job that puts pressure on a relationship or family time is hard. It is soul destroying to see no reprieve in a job, no decent time out or a period when you will have a break.

Is it always so tough in farming? I don't know much about it.

And I am a teacher, and yes I moan A LOT about my hours, I am at work at 7.30 am, leave about 5.30 and then work from 7 till 10 every night at home. So that is 13 hours a day, 5 days a week then a few hours on a Sunday maybe, but still not as long as your DH.

And I think regardless of your job, working long hours is a nightmare.

I am on holiday this week smile but have loads of reports to write! angry !

I think we should stick together really, as above, working lots of hours shatters you and can have a really negative impact on your family no matter what the job. You have my sympathy and here, share my wine!

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 22:18:50

Thanks for the wine Checkpoint!

Working long hours is a nightmare for anyone who has to do it, and it is difficult juggling that with a family. As mentioned in this thread, the relentlessness of farming is very grinding.
We can all work long hours for weeks at a time, but when there is no let up except for maybe 10 days a year, its pretty tiring for all concerned.

Do you have a family and how do you and your DH (?) cope with your long hours?

Yes I have two DDs, 10 and 4. My DH works flexi hours for a government organisation (scientific) and so he does all the drop offs and pick ups that my parents don't do for us, or when the DCs don't go to after school club or stay later at nursery.

I basically do nothing at all towards the housework all week (except bath the kids and make tea) and then the and do my bit at the weekend, I am lucky to have a very nice DH! But he does get narked off with me, I try to explain that it's just how it is and he can make the time up in the holidays which he does.

I feel stressed for you, and for your DH. I am clueless about farming but can he pass the buck to a deputy ever? I saw a 'herdsman' mentioned earlier, could he ask that person to do more? Apologies if that is a naive way of looking at it!
Glad you like the wine a nice Yellow Label Wolflass Chardonnay!

Ladyflip Mon 27-May-13 22:50:05

Your DH sounds like me in this set up. You probably have enough to do without feeling stressed for us too!

We do have a full time herdsman and a relief herdsman. It's not really possible to ask the FT herdsman to do more (he has a family too!) but I do think we have issues with the relief herdsman. This is where it gets difficult. He is off sick again. When any staff are sick, its difficult to find very short term staff to cover who know what they're doing, so DH ends up doing it, because its not only easier but cheaper.

I've nearly finished my wine (an Italian red, since you ask) grin

timidviper Mon 27-May-13 22:57:23

My FIL was a dairy farmer until he retired and sold up. Not wishing to start off any competitive whingeing again but MIL never worked on the farm, she worked as a teacher in the local school and I know exactly which job she would tell you was harder and it wasn't hers! Coincidentally, they had a farm manager as FIL approached retirement whose wife was also a teacher and was quite scathing of some of the moaning from within her own profession

FIL did work hard over very long hours but did quite well out of it financially. DH and his brother did not want to work on the farm and FIL has since told us he is glad they did not follow him into farming as he was aware that times were getting harder and harder.

You have my sympathies OP. I think you have had a spectacularly hard time on this thread from some people who just do not want to listen to reason

timidviper Mon 27-May-13 23:02:32

Lady Are there any agricultural colleges nearby? FIL had similar problems with an unreliable worker but often had students who were able to help with odd hours.

Your talk of baling twine reminded me that when I was pregnant with DS I was warned that labour might be difficult because of his position and DH told me not to worry as he was sure he could get him out with a stick and some baling twine!

Gosh, there isn't really an easy way to sort it then is there, although timid's idea looks pretty good! Could he sell up and you go all hardcore at your work!? (Again I know naff all about solicitors!)

Again, I feel for you, and hope you can find a way to help your DH have a bit more time with you all!

GentleOtter Tue 28-May-13 00:12:02

Would you be able to persuade your dh to spend a weekend with you on another farm? One not far away? Are there some B&Bs near you? My cunning plan is that you can talk with another farm wife, your dh can see how other farms are run and the evening would be your own.

Dh and I have spoken tonight of the long hours and being so committed to the farm all year, the lack of farm sitters and my desperate need to go home to the Highlands for a break. Well, I spoke, he listened then went back to the cowshed to check on imminent calvers. I will get home to the Highlands when I am 87.
There is always something to do on a farm and when we are not all swigging cider and talking about the price of butter wink, the reality is somewhat less romantic.

You have had a rough ride on this thread and I was going to suggest a Farmer's wives thread on OTBT?

Shallistopnow Tue 28-May-13 00:30:18

The whole education system is a gravy train for teachers etc. They gain far more than our kids do. And most of them can't spell & are culture-less.

Rindercella Tue 28-May-13 00:33:30

grin at shallistopnow chucking a hornets' nest into the thread! You know, if you have to ask, you probably should (stop now I mean).

OwlinaTree Tue 28-May-13 08:13:05

Shallistopnow How did you learn to read and write then? Guess you gained nothing from any teacher.

Loving idea of an education gravy train. Do you read the news?

Ok .... what is his motivation for having so many cows? Is it the financial rewards? Strange as he clearly has no time to enjoy the harvest of his endeavours! Maybe he could drop the number of cows to say 100 or 120 to return his working hours to some semblance of normality. We have a 60 cow herd and still turn a reasonable profit ... so if work-life balance is really such an issue for the family, and he wants to continue to be a dairy farmer, that would probably be the way to go.

Oh and how old are your children? (Sorry if I missed that info upthread) Could they help with feeding calves etc?, or are they still very little?

QuietTiger Tue 28-May-13 08:58:19

I feel MORE than qualified to comment on this thread - DH is a farmer and I am a teacher. He works ridiculous hours compared to me. Last week, like the OP's DH, he worked something like 110 hours. That is completely normal for him. We've had days off cancelled, arranging a couple of days away is like a military operation, and last night was a good case in point - we went out to the cinema for the first time in god knows how long, had planned to have a meal afterwards, and got a phone call to let us know our sheep had escaped on to the road and we needed to get home to retrieve them. Meal went out of the window and we ended up eating pizza on the sofa at 11pm.

Having said all that, DH wouldn't do my job (Secondary science teacher) for all the tea in China. The stresses of a teacher are very harsh, and they "do" very much need their holidays - most teachers I know are utterly knackered at the end of term. There are stupid and ridiculous amounts of paperwork, 9/10 lessons, you get some sort of attitude from pupils, I am sworn at daily (normal), there are a lack of resources to do your job effectively, and an incompetent arsehole of an education minister who couldn't find his arse with both hands, a torch, a neon sign saying "arse this way", who keeps changing the parameters of teaching. There is no question that they deserve their holidays.

However, I believe that many, many people in all walks of life don't work as hard as farmers. I certainly don't work as hard as DH. I have guaranteed time off, I finish at a reasonable time if I want to, I have time to meet friends, do hobbies, and go to the gym. I have friends who are junior doctors, solicitors & barristers, they work hard, but they still have time to do stuff.

Farming is not a "job", it is a very, very stressful way of life. Made worse by the fact that people want cheap food, but things like farming costs like fuel and fertilizer are rising, while farm gate prices are dropping. We found an old milk-check statement from 1993 - we were getting £0.31p/litre in 1993. Now, we are lucky to get £0.27p/litre with double the costs!

OP, I feel your pain, I really do.

OwlinaTree Tue 28-May-13 09:31:50

I certainly feel the op's pain. I felt sorry for her till that stupid comment about teachers. why pick on them as slackers? I could put on here the assumptions i would make about farmers having it easy - but i wouldn't as i think it would be offensive to the op and others, and i don't want to just rile people for the sake of it, that's not what the op was about.

Farming is a very essential job, but then so is education. Maybe a bit more respect for what everybody does.

boxershorts Tue 28-May-13 12:18:27

Big landowners will have others doing the work.

Small farmers will work hard

Ladyflip Tue 28-May-13 12:49:46

Hello QuietTiger, you also used to have fun on the widows thread! I didn't know you were a teacher though.

I do agree that most farmers would rather chuck tyres on a silage clamp for ever than teach teenagers. And without getting into teachers v lawyers v farmers, there are stresses in my profession that others would find difficult to deal with. For example, dealing with the recently bereaved on a regular basis can often leave me feeling utterly drained.

I think one of the hidden costs of farming is the sacrifice of family life. That's really what I was moaning about. sad

QuietTiger Tue 28-May-13 13:51:23

I did indeed Ladyflip. smile

TBH, now I'm a supply teacher when I feel like it - I jacked in permanent teaching after I got physically assaulted by a year 11 boy - he hit me over the head with a lab stool in lesson 1 of the day, and I was expected to teach the little shit in lesson 5 because the head teacher said I must have provoked him and it was my fault! Obviously, that's a little extreme because most schools are not like that, but it was enough for DH to go apeshit say enough was enough.

The hidden cost of farming is the sacrifice of family life. I have taken to booking time away from the farm and deliberately picking spots where we have no mobile phone reception and then giving "a one-way debrief" and an ultimatum. grin

I know a fabulous little place in Cornwall, and found a nice spot in Cumbria last week when we went to pick up our sheep dog. I've told DH that I'd like to go back to Cornwall & Cumbria... grin Bless him, he still hasn't worked out that all the places we go just happen to be a phone black-spot!!

I've had a stressy DH for the last few weeks because of the weather and the maize not being in. Add to that the contractors not turning up on time to do what we need them to and it can be a real challenge... I do regularly pull DH up on his behaviour - I've just been dismissed now because he "needs to get on". He's pissed off at the weather (it's raining), as even though he needs the rain for the fertilizer that he's just spread, he doesn't need the rain because he needs to foot bath the cattle outside and the slurry pit is full to bursting...

olidusUrsus Tue 28-May-13 18:27:25

Never mind farming, this thread is fucking relentless! grin

MrsPHollywood Tue 28-May-13 18:32:31

Olidus. The thread had been inactive for about 4 and a half hours, but thanks for bumping.

olidusUrsus Tue 28-May-13 18:33:48

Fucking hell, sorry hmm

EdvardMonsterMunch Tue 28-May-13 19:37:48

Rain, rain and more rain.
Moan, moan, moan.

Only sunny day was Sunday and that was Mother's Day here.
There are things he could have been doing but he took time off to spend as a family (and MIL angry).

Sounds daft but those few hours spent together are really precious and i treasure them all the more.

ShyGirlie Thu 03-Jul-14 09:02:30

just browsing this thread, really cant believe how much people are villifying farmers. i am a teacher, oh is a farmer. we both work extremely hard, although my hours are obviously less. it's normal for oh not to be inside (except for meals) until midnight. yes at times i find it a real struggle and often complain about lack of time together.

however, for all you lot harping on about subsidies and farmers being paid for doing nothing - just catch yourselves on. where do u think anything in your fridge or cupboards would come from of it wasnt for farmeres? i REALLY cannot stand this "i hate farmers / slow tractors / smell of slurry" mentality of narrow minded idiots. there are no words to describe how mad it makes me. you literally owe your whole life to farmers, its the backbone of this country.

good luck with managing to stay alive at all if subsidies are cut - and by the way, if a fair price was paid for all farm produce no subsidies would be needed at all, but everyone wants to stick with supermarket price wars where the farmer gets paid an absolute pittance.

i am IMMENSELY proud to be a farmers daughter and farmers wife to be. i am also hugely proud of the farming industry in this country.

i just wish some people would wise up and open their blooming eyes. angry angry angry angry angry

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