ZB

Kerre Woodham: Farmers farm because it's a way of life, they're not asking for sympathy

Author
Kerre Woodham,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Jul 2022, 12:26pm
Photo / Getty
Photo / Getty

Kerre Woodham: Farmers farm because it's a way of life, they're not asking for sympathy

Author
Kerre Woodham,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Jul 2022, 12:26pm

I wanted to have a look at our farming sector this morning, because I think the grumpiness from a number of farmers over a Country Calendar show featuring Lake Hawea station probably gave us a heads up on where farmers' confidence is at.

And it's low, very, very low. According to a Rabobank quarterly rural confidence survey, it's the lowest since the pandemic began. Back in March, farmers' confidence was the lowest it had been since Federated Farmers began a twice a year survey in 2009. 

When you think about the reality of farming for most Kiwis, I guess you can understand and empathise with their frustration. It's a cold, wet, miserable job in winter and a hot, dry dusty one in summer. Most farmers can't delegate their farm chores, no matter if they've got the flu or if they're feeling under the weather with a head cold, or if they've got Covid, they have to drag themselves up or call in favours from neighbours, which they will then repay.

Sure, the dairy prices are looking good, but rising costs for everything, absolutely everything, are eating away any profits that can be put back into the farm, or could see you repaying the eye-watering loan that you took out to buy the land.

You won't be able to pay that down any earlier, which you may have been able to do with the profits because fertiliser costs more and feed costs more and transport costs more.

Men and women go farming because it's a way of life. They're not asking for sympathy.

They're not asking you to feel sorry for them, and they never have. For them it's a way of life and it is not just a job. You wouldn't do the job if it was only about the money, and you wouldn't do it because you needed a job. It is a way of being.