The story of one mans efforts to fulfil his dream to become a farmer, without the aid of inheritance.
So the dry period continues! No we have had some rain, ever since the drought was declared I've had to start watching the weather forecast again!! Not nearly enough rain, but for cattle farmers like myself it's a start. No the dry period I was referring to was the lack of blogs from me. I see just yesterday that an APB has been put out among the community looking for "Old MacDonald" who hasn't been seen online for several weeks. I've had many a private message asking of my whereabouts, whilst I've not been posting, and it is nice to know that people you've never met but have chatted to frequently look out for you. Hope we here from Old MacDonald soon.
Writers block? Maybe. Not enough time? Definetely.
It's a mixture of finding it difficult as to what people may be interested in and not being able to speak about certain things as they are in process and don't really want to upset the apple cart. So to speak.
Although how I wish I could speak my mind!!!! Best I don't you understand, don't you?
So what happened that I can talk about? Well I've been given more responsibility for the cattle that I'm looking after, both day to day and managerially. I was reassuring the boss the other day that we are achieving his goals, it's maybe not as quickly as he thought and that the way consumers purchase their products is changing and we have to change with them.
The wet winter, (yes I did say "Wet Winter!" What with the snow and the rains of January and early February we would have been in dought in April otherwise.) This meant I couldn't get onto my land soon enough to sow a spring cereal crop before the dry spell struck. I made a wise decision not to sow. It's just that seeing the weeds is depressing, which doesn't help.
On top of that it's cost a small fortune in reports for our planning application which we have now resubmitted. I just have to wait and see what's thrown at us this time!!! I had the local press on the phone to me yesterday. I really don't like being intereviewed either for a job or by the press. It's not that I'm a slow thinker, but a very in depth thinker and want time to try and work out what the subtext is they might be trying to get at!!
I dare not add up the hours I'm working at the moment. I think it is averaging at least 70 hours a week. That doesn't include the commute that one of the contracts involves. Yes, yes, yes, I know that is only half a weeks work for most farmers but I'm juggling that between two contracts then looking after my own farm on top of that and keep some semblence of family life going.
I've just taken procession of a iPhone, other Android's are available. That's not bragging but it has made a huge difference. I have to say I was not wholly convinced of it's benefits. Being constantly available to the office. Some said I would never be able to switch off. Never leaving the office! Which is true, if you let it. That's the secret. You need to be in control of the technology not the other way around. I can now check my emails when I have a few seconds between weighing one lot of cattle for slaughter and going off to mow a field for hay. I can see if there is anything urgent that needs dealing with straight away. Whether I'm in the field, the shed or shop. It is a sort of lifeline of communication.
Farmers can feel isolated working on your own all day and only being in the office when everyone one else has long since gone home! I can keep up with Caroline Stocks on Twitter as she tells me the latest Ag News as it happens. You actually feel connected to the real world.
I hope all of the above explains to the accountant why he hasn't quite received this years accounts yet!!! However if he's reading this then I'm in real trouble, he'll tell me I could have been doing some of the work instead of writing this! I suppose that sounds like me telling my 7 year old why he should be doing his homework instead of coming haymaking with me, who in turn sounds like his Father telling me to get my homework done instead of playing Britains Farms! Funny how you wish never to be like your parents but no matter how hard you try something always sneeks through!
Better get the accounts done, or mess'rs Revenue & Customs may gate crash the party!! I'll try to be back soon. Don't forget if your new to this blog you can catch up with the story so far on my blog with the series, Diary Of Becomming A Farmer