Loyalty, trust, love and hope… is at the heart of why farmers bear the burden of drought year after year. Loyalty to our passion in life, our love for the agricultural industry and our love for our family. This is what motivates us to keep on going, implement our drought management plans and ensure our nation’s future food security.
We trust our agricultural industry to survive so we can continue to feed our great nation and the rest of the world. We hold hope for a better season as we face hardship and worry every single day. Farmers love what they do… they care for their livestock, they take pride in managing the land beneath them and they trust in what they are doing to help feed and clothe our nation.
Today I am sharing this photo with you, taken in November 2018, only 2 short months ago. Our land has suffered the effects of drought, as we had a very dry start to 2018, with the driest first half of a year on record. Our average annual rainfall is 673mm (26 inches), but in 2018 we only received about half of that… 369mm (14 inches), only 17mm more than the lowest annual rainfall on record.
In the month of November alone, we received 106mm (4 inches)… which had given us hope. Hope for a break in the dry season and hope for some relief for the land, the livestock and for us. Sadly it didn’t last for long, but nevertheless, there is light at the end of this tunnel… finally.
Rural Reflection #5
As in stock management, a new paddock awaits this mob of cows and this photo depicts their excitement as the movement takes place. A failed forage crop (on the left), planted in February last year, raises its head with the much-anticipated moisture. Following every big drought, now we have the threat of weeds, invading paddocks that were once pasture. But through on-farm management, weeds can be controlled, once some rainfall is received. And those clouds above us hold hope that rain may be coming.
As we drive in front of the cattle, calling them to a new paddock… the hot, dry and dusty conditions were not restraining them at all. I love this photo because it shows the natural quiet nature of Hereford cattle, the ease of stock movement and the trust that these beautiful breeders have in us. They trust us to provide them with feed to meet their nutritional requirements. They trust us to provide them with healthy clean water to drink. They trust us entirely, as they follow eagerly without apprehension, as they contemplate what paddock may await them next.
So even with the over-bearing drought effects and the long-term process to farm business recovery… our loyalty to these animals and our industry drives us every day. It is with the love of farming, that we do hold hope for a better season to fall upon us soon.
Take care, Karen.
“Loyalty is what makes us trust,
Trust is what makes us stay,
Staying is what makes us love,
and love is what gives us hope.”
~ Glenn van Dekken