Father Son relationship

Tractortim

Member
Livestock Farmer
To give a bit of background I help my Dad on a small hill farm. The farm has always been a part time hobby for Dad who up until retirement worked as a hub driver. We farm just under 100 acres 50 acres owned by Dad , 10 acres owned by me and 40 acres rented. I have a full time 9-5 office job and help out on evenings and weekends doing around 10 hours a week on average.

Spending so much time working together is really special and I can’t imagine what our relationship would be like without the farm. We both get on with each other really well possibly because we are both quite laid back. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses inside out.

The problem I’m finding is that the farm is just not performing as well as it should. I think we could do things slightly differently which would both make the work easier and more profitable. Dad does listen but just doesn’t act on it, everything will be done next summer but never happens. I feel guilty for constantly nagging. Ultimately I can’t see anything changing, I can’t make the changes that I want because I don’t have any control but without some change the enjoyment is diminishing which is in turn effects our relationship.
I’m sure that others have been in a similar situation and at least for me the farm is not my main job. I would just like to hear how others have dealt this situation.
 

Donkey Oaty

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Just relax about how the farm is performing. You both have other jobs and full time incomes, so continue to view the farm as a hobby and a nice place to be. You could spend alot more time and money on it for little reward because there are limits on the efficiencies and extra output you can achieve from 100 acres of hill. Start to put a value for yourself on it's amenity and just enjoy it!
 
Location
Ireland
Be careful, have u other siblings? It maybe a case that he not leaving farm to you, and he looking at you, that your doing alright for urself,, and there could be another sibling that he thinks hasn't got much and leave it to them,, or just a case , that your dad happy enough at way things are,, have you spoken to him if he leaving you the farm?
 

mjdboor

Member
I get on similarly with my old man but we had to have 'the chat' a few years back. Things needed to change, not just because because I wanted them too, but for us to survive with my family coming along, we also had the 'sibling' chat which was terrifying when I realised what the plan was. It wasn't intentional on my old man's part though and we sorted things out amicably and sensibly. It seems you're coming from a good place in that you both get on, what harm is there in a chat? Conversely, we had other family members involved and they were the stereotypical nightmare, all sorted now though but it's left a bad taste.
 

gatepost

Member
Location
Cotswolds
I farmed in a sort of agreement with the previous generation, who wasn't going to fully retire, even though the tenancy had been legally given to me, in the end keep the relation as sweet as you can, the world is littered with bitter endings, my neighbor sold his farm rather than let his son have a say/go. but if you want to make a change or two, you have to do it, my senior was always saying ''we'll wait and see'' they didn't talk to me for a month when we put the first kit building up, but they came round in the end, because they could see I was serious about the farm, just as they were, eventually I was seen as a safe pair of hands.
 

PhilipB

Member
To give a bit of background I help my Dad on a small hill farm. The farm has always been a part time hobby for Dad who up until retirement worked as a hub driver. We farm just under 100 acres 50 acres owned by Dad , 10 acres owned by me and 40 acres rented. I have a full time 9-5 office job and help out on evenings and weekends doing around 10 hours a week on average.

Spending so much time working together is really special and I can’t imagine what our relationship would be like without the farm. We both get on with each other really well possibly because we are both quite laid back. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses inside out.

The problem I’m finding is that the farm is just not performing as well as it should. I think we could do things slightly differently which would both make the work easier and more profitable. Dad does listen but just doesn’t act on it, everything will be done next summer but never happens. I feel guilty for constantly nagging. Ultimately I can’t see anything changing, I can’t make the changes that I want because I don’t have any control but without some change the enjoyment is diminishing which is in turn effects our relationship.
I’m sure that others have been in a similar situation and at least for me the farm is not my main job. I would just like to hear how others have dealt this situation.
I think the thing to do is to explore why your father is resistant to change.

Ask "why would this change be frightening to you? What is it that you're afraid of?" (though probably not in those words, of course)

Once you know what's holding him back (fear of financial risk, attachment to the past, lack of motivation etc.) then you can pinpoint your attack.
 

Agrivator

Member
Can you invest any of your own cash into the farm?

What, roughly, are the changes/improvements which you are not allowed to make?
 

marco

Member
Maybe he's waiting for you to do the things you want to do to make life easier. When I was younger and wanted to buy a piece of machinery dad said you buy it and charge me the going rate. That way I had to put some skin in the game. Even when he wasn't sure about something he let me get on, and often remarked afew years later that something had worked out well.
 

Uggman

Member
Livestock Farmer
To give a bit of background I help my Dad on a small hill farm. The farm has always been a part time hobby for Dad who up until retirement worked as a hub driver. We farm just under 100 acres 50 acres owned by Dad , 10 acres owned by me and 40 acres rented. I have a full time 9-5 office job and help out on evenings and weekends doing around 10 hours a week on average.

Spending so much time working together is really special and I can’t imagine what our relationship would be like without the farm. We both get on with each other really well possibly because we are both quite laid back. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses inside out.

The problem I’m finding is that the farm is just not performing as well as it should. I think we could do things slightly differently which would both make the work easier and more profitable. Dad does listen but just doesn’t act on it, everything will be done next summer but never happens. I feel guilty for constantly nagging. Ultimately I can’t see anything changing, I can’t make the changes that I want because I don’t have any control but without some change the enjoyment is diminishing which is in turn effects our relationship.
I’m sure that others have been in a similar situation and at least for me the farm is not my main job. I would just like to hear how others have dealt this situation.
Hi I think that as others have said have a chat but also maybe try upping your hours a bit to show that you are serious about farming and working hard. Then maybe start making changes without getting consent but small ones like putting in a new drinking though or running a hosepipe round the yard instead or carrying buckets round and see how he reacts to these small changes then take it from there.
 

Tractortim

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thanks for the advice. I think that one of the key things is to try and get a better understanding of why he is resistant to the changes, some of it I have a good idea ie I think we should reduce the stocking rate and he sees this as a failure as more is always better. Some things are more difficult to understand. I probably need to make time to speak with him away from the farm as well as issues are never best in the heat of the moment.
 

gatepost

Member
Location
Cotswolds
I think sadly half Dads problem is coming to terms with his age and where he is in his life, I have just turned sixty, and although hale and hearty, it is a oh feck moment, I still shear sheep, and half the reason is that if I stop thats' it, a wave goodbye to youth, vigor and all that went with it, and I am finding even the prospect difficult to come to terms with, so god knows what I'm going to be like at 70!
 

Treg

Member
Location
Cornwall
Take your dad to a farm where your thinking their doing it right or the way you want to do things , then you can chat about the pros and cons of it looking at someone else's system.
My dad likes reading , he's 82 we still have a good relationship but to get things across to him can take some time, give him a book to read & it's " oh I see what your trying to do now" :rolleyes:
 

Drillman

Member
Mixed Farmer
The older generation here have retired from the farm business, still show an interest but poor health prevents them doing any more than an occasional potter round the yard to see what we been up to. They have no input in financial decisions either Nowadays but will offer an opinion or give advice if asked. To be honest I think there happy that they don’t have the hassle or responsibility anymore.

The other day I was showing them the cattle and said bet your not happy I messed your system up and changed everything, only to be told “well actually I think your system is better”

Im lucky though as the older generation has always been receptive of new ideas.
 
Location
Suffolk
Some lovely insights in this thread. I had a difficult relationship with my Dad, now passed. He would not let go. I refuse to dictate to my children and listen carefully to their hopes, fears and ideas. Yes investing in Tesla was good. Investing in RR wasn't but I'm still waiting....... Their ideas are mostly the way forward as it is their world now 'till their children have opinions and at least with grand-children you can simply give them back! :ROFLMAO:
SS
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
mine assured me it was sorted, he went, 26 yrs later, still not sorted, if only he had been honest.
following ill health after an accident, which won't improve, l passed the chequebook over to my son, aged 27, and l get a lot of enjoyment, watching him succeed, as would a lot of other farmers, if only they would trust the next generation.
l'm still here, we talk thinks over, we can disagree, but he listens, and l quite enjoy a little giggle, when l see something done, when at the time, it was 'rubbish'. I can still potter about, drive around the stock, stay at reel end of elec fences, and act as as a gofer, go for this, or that. A friends dad died, not long ago, aged 83, wouldn't pass the books over, because he had only had them, for 10 yrs, his mother had them prior to him.
The biggest downside of owned family farms, they are simply to valuable, large amounts of money, and siblings, or their partners, want a slice.
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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