Some of you may be wondering why I have been absent on here for the past few months. A few of you even messaged me to check I was okay. I am thank you.
The short answer is I’m tired.
Among other things, this year has been our first year in business, taking over the lease of our family dry stock farm.
It’s been hard. The days are long and often lonely. My husband has worked 12 hour plus days, in the rain, wind and cold.
I am a full-time mum, I also run the business side of our investments and I work part time to make ends meet.
We rarely see each other.
On top of this, since taking over the lease in April this year, we have been dealing with and trying to get our heads around the Waikato Healthy Rivers Plan Change 1, the Zero Carbon Bill, and as of last week the National Freshwater Policy Statement. These are all major policies that have come about in a very short period of time. Each comes with a raft of different documents relating to the proposals often over 100 pages long. That’s a lot of reading and a lot of information to digest. It’s also a lot of uncertainty.
So many people I talk to simply say “Why would you even go farming?” and honestly, I ask myself the same thing every day. But we’re doing it. We chose it. And we worked our butts off to get ourselves in a financial position to be able to do this for the last 10 years.
We’re not doing it to get rich.
We’re not doing it to destroy the land we walk on or the water we drink.
We’re doing it because it’s the life we both know and love.
We’re doing it because we enjoy being outside – in the bush, in the paddocks, in the water.
We’re doing it because we love animals and we’re giving them the best life we can.
We’re doing it because we want this land to be enjoyed by generations to come in the same way it was enjoyed by us and those before us.
We’re doing it because, if we don’t, who will?
I think a lot of people generally think farmers are just a bunch of entitled moaners. But have you ever really listened to what they’re saying? There are a lot of farmers out there at the moment trying to have their voice heard over the noise in the media but no one is listening.
It’s hard to put yourself out there knowing the negative comments that will inevitably be fired back.
But we have to.
We have to at least try and take control of our futures, our farms, and our family’s well being.
If we don’t, as an industry, we risk being the scape goat for what is undeniably an unbalanced distribution of accountability for climate change on a global scale.
We acknowledge that changes need to be made. But there must also be acknowledgement for the groundswell of activity that is already happening on a huge scale to protect our land and waterways from further deterioration.
As a dry stock farmer, the saddest part of all this, is not only the impact it’s having on the farming industry as a whole, but the impact it’s having within it. The proposals as they stand are unfair in so many ways and they’re causing not just a rural urban divide but also an industry divide which has to end.
We all need to work together. We all need to inform ourselves properly before saying our bit. And we all need to be aware of the emotions and situations that go on behind a click bait headline or image.
Do you eat meat or dairy?
If you do, I would encourage you to reach out to any farmer you know and let them know you support them to do their best. You have no idea the difference this would make.
If you don’t, that’s fine, I support the choices you make, but please be considerate of mine and accept that although our choices are different, they remain just that. Our choice.