I'm not sure as dairy farmers we work as hard as we think

The big thing that I see is that there are a lot of people working very hard, doing long hours at tough physical jobs, BUT they do a week or a fortnight or a month like this then have a rest for two days or a week or whatever. They go away on holiday 2 or 3 times a year and have a fortnight off at Christmas.
Stock farming and Asian corner shops are about the only businesses that are based on the owner working 80hrs a week plus with no weekends off, no public holidays and if they are lucky reduced hrs on Christmas day. Its this grind that does the damage along with the physiological pressure of not being able to just stop for a couple of days.
Then change the way you work. What you describe is not everybody’s reality.
 
We deal and talk to lots of chefs in London and when you talk to them about their day it makes you realise that farming isn’t that bad after all. One chef I know is at the train station before 6 in the morning to get the train into London then is doing the same return journey on an evening. The kitchen he work in has no outside windows as that is prime space in the office block he works in so in winter he is inside all day and does not see natural daylight during his working day
Compare that to our day and you soon appreciate the job we are lucky enough to be doing.
I was training officer to a bricklaying apprentice who used to be a chef, he was telling me about the split shifts, in early in the morning preparing for the evening, then off work, then in working cooking all evening, followed by full top to bottom clean of the kitchen, before finishing shift, just to be repeated the next day.
 

Tim G

Member
Livestock Farmer
On the flip side I've seen builders rock up at 9, drink tea till 10, set up to work for an hour, tea break at 11, work from about half 11 till half 12 then lunch, start again at about 2 before packing up at around half 3...

I think the industry is irrelevant. Some people work hard, some cruise along and some can't be bothered.
There are some builders like that working on a cottage here for the landlord. Nearly everytime I see them they are having a break. They've been here about 8 months and yet to realise we milk cows as they arrive as I've finished morning milking and are gone before we start in the afternoon.
 
I used to get EA staff parking up at my place, they were supposed to be clearing the streams out. They sat in their van and did nothing whatsoever day after day.
I just thought it must be boring as Hell.
Sent them on their way in the end, told them to go and be idle feckers somewhere else.

I have always been grateful that I don't have to sit in an hour or more of traffic every morning and night.
Another big plus is that I actually quite like what I do (not a right lot these days) whereas most folk I know seem to be so relieved it is weekend and almost depressed when it comes round to Monday, I rarely know what day it is as it makes no difference. :)

Man I would loved to have observed that conversation.
 
There are some people that work very hard. I can appreciate that farming is often a lot of hours, but it isn't sustainable 365 days a year.

A lot of farms seem to make their own lives very complicated. I used to see this a lot. The professional dairy boys, I'd rock up on farm between 9-10 and the place would be deserted- all in the house having breakfast, sleeping or whatever.

Other farms, running around like flies until lunch time. I think it's hard to recognise how to value your own time but this has been brought into focus more these days because of the acute shortage of labour these days.

There is a happy medium and I do think farming has a lot of offer the average joe but you need to attract them from the web/job centre and away from the rest of the economy. For starters, there is hardly a massively busy commute to a farm, never any parking issues and none of it needs to be strenuous these days really. I knew some farms where all the staff had breakfast either in their own accommodation or in the big house at the farmers table FOC. Free food at work is a big win for many. You're doing well to get a free cup of tea out of the NHS.
 

crashbox

Member
Livestock Farmer
Then change the way you work. What you describe is not everybody’s reality.
The trick is learning tips to shift that reality from one of hard slog 7 days a week to hard slog for a few weeks then easier for the rest of the year... maybe even a holiday!

Which sounds like... block calving!

As someone who is trying to implement this, I see it both ways. Have to shift the mindset and all that.
 
The trick is learning tips to shift that reality from one of hard slog 7 days a week to hard slog for a few weeks then easier for the rest of the year... maybe even a holiday!

Which sounds like... block calving!

As someone who is trying to implement this, I see it both ways. Have to shift the mindset and all that.
I wouldn’t be farming if I couldn’t be block calving
 

vantage

Member
Location
Pembs
This thread reminds me of a story of some particularly hard working Asians, picking veg in the Vale of Glamorgan. Apparently used to start at 7 , having driven from Birmingham, work all day, then late on drive back to Birmingham, ready to repeat the next day.
The farmer told the rep who told me the story, that he’d observed that there were three types of workers, ones with a turban were ”pull start”, ones with a dot on the forehead were”push start” and the ones with poor teeth were” kick start”! :ROFLMAO:
 
Depends how you value stuff though, a friend who is a lecturer at a uni said half the lecturers we plotting their escape. Contentment is elusive for a vast many . I think we all must question what we are doing at some point in our careers.

sometimes I think farmers think if you aren’t a farmer working every hour sent your only a lazy bugger .
 
Depends how you value stuff though, a friend who is a lecturer at a uni said half the lecturers we plotting their escape. Contentment is elusive for a vast many . I think we all must question what we are doing at some point in our careers.

sometimes I think farmers think if you aren’t a farmer working every hour sent your only a lazy bugger .
Absolutely
 

DairyNerd

Member
Livestock Farmer
We are small and I find the lack of holidays the worst thing but for me the positives outweigh the negatives many times over. There is a small group of farmers who seem to think everyone else lives some luxurious lifestyle driving new cars and playing golf in Dubai. Clearly there is a wide range of lifestyles in farming and outside but try bringing up a family in a small house or even flat with little outside space, possibly in an area where you or at least your kids worry about walking home after dark, that is the reality for a lot of people. I have a friend who grew up in London, one day his brother rang him to tell him he had been mugged at the top of their road, they talked like it was normal, he then told me it was the third time in two years. Think i'll stick where i am thanks.

I really don't see the sense in moaning about farming, if I get to the stage where i don't enjoy it i'll go and do something else.
 
We are small and I find the lack of holidays the worst thing but for me the positives outweigh the negatives many times over. There is a small group of farmers who seem to think everyone else lives some luxurious lifestyle driving new cars and playing golf in Dubai. Clearly there is a wide range of lifestyles in farming and outside but try bringing up a family in a small house or even flat with little outside space, possibly in an area where you or at least your kids worry about walking home after dark, that is the reality for a lot of people. I have a friend who grew up in London, one day his brother rang him to tell him he had been mugged at the top of their road, they talked like it was normal, he then told me it was the third time in two years. Think i'll stick where i am thanks.

I really don't see the sense in moaning about farming, if I get to the stage where i don't enjoy it i'll go and do something else.
I’d agree with that as we are small too and despite being small just would love to switch off the brain for a while and not have to think .
 

Strauss

Member
Exactly it. As physically demanding some work is, once your body becomes accustomed to it, it isn't so bad. Farming is more the toll it takes on you mentally. It's almost impossible to switch off. Mind is always going trying to deal with the present and have an eye on the future.

Think of it in cricket terms. Top order batsmen will sleep as soundly after batting as a fast bowler will after a long day in the field bowling. Just waiting to go into bat can exhaust you if your head takes over.
 

Real cool

Member
In the early days Dairymaster used to come over with their Toyotas loaded to the hilt get on and work like he’ll get job done and away
They built the company what it is today like them or hate them they work hard
 

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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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