Thursday, June 24, 2010

Farming: How hard can it be?

A friend of mine took a drive in the country last weekend with her husband.  When they reached the country, he had an epiphany. 

 
This lifelong city dweller-whose dayjob is as an actuary--is thinking about taking up farming.  How hard could it really be? This is a guy who has never changed his own oil and mows his own yard under protest. 

And I'm not talking hobby farming or just a big backyard garden.  I'm talking wheat fields, corn fields and a herd of cattle farming. 

His rationale?

How much stress could farmers have? Cows don’t talk back. How hard could it be to grow a row crop? It’s just like growing tomatoes in the back yard. Caring for pets is just like taking care of livestock isn’t it?

 
You just need a tractor, get some land and go to work. Isn’t it that simple?

Like many who are removed from farm like, he doesn't realize that growing anything is part art, science and miracle. And farming requires a lot of time, talent and tenacity.

I thought we should work up a list of easy farm chores to help him rethink leaving corporate America.

Some easy farm chores:
  • Hauling hay in 100+ degree heat.
  • Helping deliver a calf in the middle of winter, in the middle of the night
  • Unloading a ton of feed sacks
  • Planting all night when your trying to beat the rain
  • Looking a a field that's been flooded or shredded by hail

I'm sure lots of things are missing from the list.  What's your favorite easy farm chore?