All work and no play in the farming game. With the daily ritual of feeding livestock, paddocks being cultivated (and hoping for rain), mustering cattle and repairing fences. The work is just never done.
But we did fit in a casual stroll with the Hereford bulls… heading down to the stockyards today. I find mustering bulls quite interesting… as they are full of testosterone and become very playful when they are heading somewhere different from their usual paddocks. Dirt… bare dirt just fascinates them… or other cattle in the distant paddocks will spark their curiosity and a sudden urge to play, run and jump around… just like children. Simply fascinating!
As a part of our farming enterprise, we breed Hereford bulls to sell for reproduction purposes. A quiet temperament is predominant in the Hereford breed, as is the feed conversion rate on grass. Their unique white faces give them character, which is a reason why they are my breed of choice.
Today I have spent my time, with my husband and youngest son, as they share a mutual interest and a passion for cattle breeding and farming. I love to see how much joy the agricultural industry brings to both of them. My entire day was spent assisting them, taking plenty of photos and a lot of watching from the sidelines.
So I share this exclusive photo with you all, from a brief moment taken from my day… as we muster a few bulls to take them to the stockyards. I enjoy the calmness and the playfulness of these large animals as they interact with each other. With so much strength and power… yet so placid… they simply amaze me.
Rural Reflection #17…
image subject to copyright
With our recent rainfall, the tropical grasses in these paddocks have been growing well and very quickly; bambatsi, panic, rhodes grass & premier digit. These summer growing perennial grasses amaze me with how well they respond to rainfall. However, they are in need of another shower to keep them growing.
I also like this photo as it shows a couple of paddocks that my husband cultivated this week in preparation for growing winter fodder crops. A few late nights and late dinners until the paddocks were finished. Farming is seasonal and the day ends when the job ends.
There is no nine-to-five routine. Farmers just work as is needed. Some work continues into the night. But farmers understand that they must feed and clothe our nation, so they do what is needed… when it is needed… to produce the products we all know and love.
Farming is such a gamble… possibly the biggest gambling occupation one could so passionately choose. Farming relies on rainfall… and consistency of rainfall is very important to grow crops and pastures to feed our livestock. Rainfall puts water in our dams for livestock survival. Without rainfall… farming becomes a burden rather than a passion. Without rainfall… farming is in turmoil.
Farmers never know if they have made the right choice, when they rely so much on rain. Some crops may fail… which means money gone down the drain. In February last year, we had planted 3 paddocks with the forecast for good rain coming. We didn’t even get a drop. Sadly the crop was a complete failure and did not come up at all. The cost of seed, fertiliser, tractor fuel and hours of labour…. just burnt up in the heat. Just wasted our time and money. It is always a gamble in farming… fortunately, we do get some good times to make it worthwhile.
So with the hope of follow-up rain, we have made this choice to prepare these paddocks for planting. Now it is a waiting game… waiting in hope for the next shower of rain to give us relief before the winter season arrives.
Despite the tough times presented to us, farmers keep the big picture clear in their minds… the need to produce fresh Australian produce into the future. The farm work is tough but the satisfaction makes it worthwhile.
So even though, I did not have the weekend off… I found many times within my day that I felt uplifted. If you allow yourself to see the beauty around you and appreciate the important things in your life… you will feel much more content and whole.
Take care, Karen.
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops,
but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
~ Masanobu Fukuoka,
Japanese farmer and philosopher.