farming knowledge gone.

robs1

Member
As above all my forbears were farmers and so am i but my kids have chosen a different path . Absolutely nothing wrong with that but just thinking how easily the farming knowledge that gets past down over the years gets lost in the space of one generation , makes you think doesn't it ?
Times change and so does the knowledge required, some old farmers will be very forward thinking and produce a new generation the same, others will be stuck in the mud and produce the same, new thinking and new blood is good if it challenges old ways but change for changes sake can be bad and most ideas go round in circles anyway
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Though I’m not against education there is “college knowledge” and there is the “benefit of experience”.
Would anybody want to start out farming purely based on a college course?
I thought about this when I did my PA1 and 2. I thought I wouldn’t want to be relying on this to get me through, useful as it was in its own way.
It’s not just raw knowledge either. It’s attitude and motivation that you pick up from the old folks. Without the right attitude and approach, knowledge is only half the battle.
So yes I think we are losing a lot of skills, though possibly they are “life skills” rather than technical knowledge which needs updating regularly anyway.
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
Times change and so does the knowledge required, some old farmers will be very forward thinking and produce a new generation the same, others will be stuck in the mud and produce the same, new thinking and new blood is good if it challenges old ways but change for changes sake can be bad and most ideas go round in circles anyway
Farming now is becoming a nightmare & I can well understand the younger genreration wanting something different, we are bombarded from all sides with endless pointless rules, regulations, now different bodies wanting different outcomes with what can be severe penalties if we get it slightly wrong.
All we want to do is produce food, we are not qualified secretaries or managers with nothing else to do other than endless paper exercises.
Do you really wonder why young people want a far simpler life?
I suggest if you do try & start collecting all the endless booklets of rules & regs that effect any farmer trying to run his business, you might find it takes up one hell of a lot of space!
 

Dave645

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
N Lincs
As above all my forbears were farmers and so am i but my kids have chosen a different path . Absolutely nothing wrong with that but just thinking how easily the farming knowledge that gets past down over the years gets lost in the space of one generation , makes you think doesn't it ?
Your right, it’s lost.
The outgoing generation of which at some point we all will be, are the bridge that helps the new generation find a better path, once the chain breaks that knowledge bridge, breaks with it, if we don’t train a new generation to run a farm as we move to retirement.
Sure a generation later some aspects of farming will change and what we do now will look archaic compared with what’s to come, but not all and not all at once.
a new generation without the benifit of learning from the last has to start from scratch.
No one can say that a random person off the street with no training or experience is going to take up farming and not miss having experience of working with a farmer first.
Someone to show them the basics over years where it’s not important to be perfect or know everything as someone else is making the choices while your learning the basics.
Family farms past down the basics to the next generation when that stops for what ever reason it’s a loss.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Lost .... or gone out of date?
lost, even with all our modern kit, there's still a place for 'instinct', which is really knowledge gained by our own experiences, and those learnt from the 'old boys' as we grew up, old codgers, or miserable old gits, depending how grumpy, the younger generations, think we are, have decades of practical knowledge, over a rapidly changing industry. I always say, we are a vibrant forward thinking industry, that regards new ideas, with suspicion, but rapidly absorbs them anyway, as for risks aversion, that simply doesn't exist in farming, everyday, we take massive gambles, we farm for the longer term, trouble is, we live in a short term society.

But the basics of stockmanship, haven't changed, and a lot of that, is instinct. So, you 'young-uns' don't write us miserable old gits, off, to quickly, won't be long till you, become one.
 
As above all my forbears were farmers and so am i but my kids have chosen a different path . Absolutely nothing wrong with that but just thinking how easily the farming knowledge that gets past down over the years gets lost in the space of one generation , makes you think doesn't it ?
Same here. It really struck me earlier this week, when younger stepson that been helping us here lately, asked me why we were drying off a dairy heifer which is still giving quite a drop of milk. No shortage of dairy farmers in his back pedigree, and he has a Masters degree in Maths and Physics.
 

robs1

Member
Farming now is becoming a nightmare & I can well understand the younger genreration wanting something different, we are bombarded from all sides with endless pointless rules, regulations, now different bodies wanting different outcomes with what can be severe penalties if we get it slightly wrong.
All we want to do is produce food, we are not qualified secretaries or managers with nothing else to do other than endless paper exercises.
Do you really wonder why young people want a far simpler life?
I suggest if you do try & start collecting all the endless booklets of rules & regs that effect any farmer trying to run his business, you might find it takes up one hell of a lot of space!
I dont disagree with any of that but I think you would find every industry is the same. If you talk to people from non farming work they all complain about paperwork and stupid rules.
 

robs1

Member
Same here. It really struck me earlier this week, when younger stepson that been helping us here lately, asked me why we were drying off a dairy heifer which is still giving quite a drop of milk. No shortage of dairy farmers in his back pedigree, and he has a Masters degree in Maths and Physics.
But maybe that question is very good, obviously its to give her a break before next calving but has the dairy industry become fixated on 365 CI probably started out to get cows to calve in spring to utilise spring grass but with lots of herds now being housed 365 in robotic milking units and very high yields is 365 CI the most profitable?
Sometimes starting out with a blank sheet of paper with no preconceived ideas is good, just asking why is good
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
I think the knowledge lost in ag can be discovered with a modern twist.

What worries me are skills lost for ever from our industrial heritage, some skills cannot be easily learnt.

If this guy does not pass on his skills who do future generations learn from, just for example.

they still haven't worked out, how they built the pyramids, so much knowledge, has been lost, and they cannot recover a lot of it. Some skills are best forgotten, especially the ones that required back breaking hard labour.
But many of those 'old' skills, have found a new life, in the 'good life brigade'. And most of us, as farmers, enjoy looking at them. At shows etc, we look at the beautiful restored vintage tractors, and think, 'how the ####### did we manage, to farm, with them', but we did.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
But maybe that question is very good, obviously its to give her a break before next calving but has the dairy industry become fixated on 365 CI probably started out to get cows to calve in spring to utilise spring grass but with lots of herds now being housed 365 in robotic milking units and very high yields is 365 CI the most profitable?
Sometimes starting out with a blank sheet of paper with no preconceived ideas is good, just asking why is good
we have 1 young cow, that slipped, she is due exactly 2 years, from when she last calved, oct 27th, given 15,000 litres, still doing 21/day. Right, or wrong, to keep her ? We have cows that calve sub 300 days calving interval, right or wrong ?
Farming is a blank canvas in many ways, it seems to evolve as we go through our farming lives, its always changing, and adapting to weather, new machinery, crops and methods, there is always something 'different' to try, or work out.
We are entering into a new era of farming, with food production, competing against green moves, food production will win, climate change, is in the future, food is everyday. The green movement, hasn't considered, or couldn't care, that much of what they demand, will lead to lower production. This at a time food production is in a finely balanced supply, and threatening to slip into negative. We see that with todays record prices.
So we will have to compete against the green movement, at a time when demand is increasing for more production, topped with the political desperation, to keep a lid on food prices, rather think we need both old, and new skills, to steer a way through that muddle.
Its pretty obvious who will win, thankfully, despite many thinking they can, they really can't survive without us.
 

robs1

Member
we have 1 young cow, that slipped, she is due exactly 2 years, from when she last calved, oct 27th, given 15,000 litres, still doing 21/day. Right, or wrong, to keep her ? We have cows that calve sub 300 days calving interval, right or wrong ?
Farming is a blank canvas in many ways, it seems to evolve as we go through our farming lives, its always changing, and adapting to weather, new machinery, crops and methods, there is always something 'different' to try, or work out.
We are entering into a new era of farming, with food production, competing against green moves, food production will win, climate change, is in the future, food is everyday. The green movement, hasn't considered, or couldn't care, that much of what they demand, will lead to lower production. This at a time food production is in a finely balanced supply, and threatening to slip into negative. We see that with todays record prices.
So we will have to compete against the green movement, at a time when demand is increasing for more production, topped with the political desperation, to keep a lid on food prices, rather think we need both old, and new skills, to steer a way through that muddle.
Its pretty obvious who will win, thankfully, despite many thinking they can, they really can't survive without us.
There are two questions there first the purely farming one the right answer is whichever way gives the most sustainable profit.
The second is the political rubbish that the world is going through, again I feel its money based and farmers representatives should be shouting a lot harder showing how wrong most of it is
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
I dont disagree with any of that but I think you would find every industry is the same. If you talk to people from non farming work they all complain about paperwork and stupid rules.
Agreed but farming is unique in that it covers such diverse rules & regs, not only do you have health & safety, animal registration, spraying regs, animal welfare, wildlife, trees, hedge trimming rules, dung spreading rules to name a few but there are far more too numerous to mention, there is no other occupation you could name that has such an endless list of statuary rules & regs to deal with, often by a one man band business just to produce food!
If you put all these statuary rules in front of any youngster in one go before he started no one of a sane mind would contemplate going farming these days!
 

scotston

Member
I was listening to R4 farming this morning. We are all obsolete. It is now "regenerative farming". Some scientist has discovered that muck actually helps the soil. Wow!
which is the way our grandfathers used to do it before the war and Ammonium Nitrate. It was called 'Farming' then. And that's been completely forgotten in less than a generation because of 'progress'.
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
None of it has been forgotten, it's simply we are guided by ever changing Governments with their latest stupid ideas, they are there for only a very short time, we have to put right their mistakes for a generation
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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