Yesterday we awoke to discover yet another GDT price drop overnight, and yet again I'm reminded of the uncertainties people suffer in this industry that so many of us consider to be our lives. However I know so many people, young people like myself, who are so dedicated to this lifestyle that they lead - they wouldn't have it any other way, even when times are getting tough.
It got me thinking, what is it in
the agricultural industry that keeps proving to people that it is
actually a worthwhile place to be?
The other night I
went outside for a while with Pippa and for a change I actually just
stopped. I stopped and looked around, looked out at the beautiful, clear
night - the moon and stars burning the sky alight. I listened to the
chickens shuffling their feathers and the pig, Tammy, seemingly grunting
in her sleep.
It was almost ten o'clock, in the middle of winter in Northland and it was so utterly quiet. So peaceful. Perfect.
made me think of those nights in the city while staying with my sister,
big apartment buildings in the middle of Auckland. The endless roar of
sirens and car alarms, hearing voices everywhere, and being in a place
that was so lit up with streetlights, that the sky was painted an
artificial colour scheme with seemingly no stars to be seen.
It reminded me of everything I love about the farming life that I've had the pleasure of living in.
All the memories seemed to come flooding back to me of all those moments
that I loved the most; going with Dad late at night to check the
calving mob, wearing pajamas and gumboots, torch in hand and walking
around all the beautiful sleeping animals that almost literally made our
lives tick. Seeing the cows that I raised, giving birth to the next
generation - watching the calves take their first steps in a world where
they are so important. Having the knowledge that I would be the one to
help raise them just right, so in two years time I'd see it happen all
over again with that same feeling of pride.
cows in the middle of a dry summer, dressed in all the seasonal
essentials - only for it to spontaneously pour with rain, getting us
absolutely soaked to the bone, yet I just couldn't stop laughing.
your favourite calves grow up and mature, seeing the glint of mischief
in their eyes as heifers and in later years when they're much older
they'll still look you dead in the eyes, a glimmer of curiosity and
knowledge brewing, with their ears pricked forward, because they know
exactly who you are - they'll never forget.
you're probably thinking that I must be a little delusional upon writing
this, but I can promise you that I'm not. For quite a while I've been
thinking, who am I? Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do?
I have had so many people around me tell me what I should be doing,
where I should be going and who I should be. Confusing me to the
extremes, making me think that I had no options, that I was stuck in a
But last night, standing outside, all alone except
for my Pippa and the chilly Northland air, I realised. I'm staring it
straight in the face. I'm already where I'm meant to be, this isn't a
rut this is a niche. In farming it seems like there are so many lows, that there is nothing other than endless hard work and stress and so many think they need to find a way out - that there is no escape.
However as a good friend and I recently discussed, life is only as good
as you make it. It is not the industry that is the problem, it is the
mindset of the people within it. It is not the industry that is somehow
proving to some and not others that it is a worthwhile place to be in,
it is the people, the animals, the feelings of pride and success that
keeps it going. It is the environment itself.
didn't know where I was going because I am already here, I am one of
the lucky ones with all my opportunities spread out at my fingertips. I
am in this industry and this is where I'll stay - because there honestly
is no place else quite the same.