Life on a farm is both wonderful and hard work. It’s a lifestyle and a job. Life on a farm means there are somethings entirely out of your control which can have huge impacts on the business both positive and negative. Farming largely benefits from a good balance of weather, warmth, sunshine, and enough rain to keep things watered and healthy.
The seasons have a real impact on farming life with a slower start to the year giving farmers the chance to recover from the previous year, giving farmers a chance to get more inside jobs completed with the darker nights and shorter days. This is the perfect opportunity to get ready for lambing season in March, allowing farmers to be on call round the clock.
As the evenings becoming lighter the outside jobs become more prominent, making hay, combining, planting crops, making sure fields are ready for the animals through summer. With the weather being at the centre of everything farmers do, sometimes it doesn’t work in the farmers favour which can impact combining and haymaking.
Weather aside, economic factors can come into play with the economy having an impact on the price of commodities such as oil, wheat, animal feed, and so on. The fluctuations in price can have huge impact on your profits that year so providing things are positive you can make some good money for your business but be prepared not to.
Many farmers are a jack of all trades and a master of all! From being an accountant, combine driver, animal carer, plumber, builder, decorator, chef, mechanic, sheep shearer, commodity trader, cleaner of troughs and animal housing, and staff manager to name a few, farmers have so much going on that they rarely have a day off, particularly if the farm is on a smaller scale.
The life of a farmer is hard work but incredibly rewarding. From the labour to the daily challenges as we’ve mentioned previously. Challenges leave farmers addressing the efficiency, profitability, and sustainability of their businesses, ultimately affecting their livelihoods. Sustainable farming is on the rise with farmers feeling the pressure of producing a more natural, safe, and healthy produce to sell on the shelves, protecting biodiversity.
Being raised on a farm doesn’t mean you must pursue the career, but it definitely does help. There are however a variety of ways to begin a career in farming from agricultural studies and apprenticeships as well as agri-business centred careers such as machine operators, scientists, agronomists, and other careers relating to farming if you’re not a fan of getting your hands dirty!
Aside from the challenges farmers face, here are some great benefits of farming:
- Feeding the planet
- Being at one with nature
- The world is your oyster – grow what you like and love
- Working for yourself
- Job security
- The farming community
- No commute
- Keeping fit
Ultimately, farming is a great career and lifestyle for anybody that loves animals, the great outdoors and getting stuck in and working hard. Make sure you do your research before venturing into the big unknown! Meet with some reputable farmers who can give you a real insight to a day in the life.