9 reasons why farmers are local heroes

You are busy and don’t get as much time as you’d like to get involved with the village.

But take heart, you’re probably still a pillar of the community.

Farmers, take a bow, here are nine reasons why you are a star without even knowing it

See also: Cash and kudos on offer in Farmers Weekly’s photo contest

1. On the pull

Car in a ditch

© Tim Scrivener/REX/Shutterstock

Accidents happen – and whether it’s a car driver caught in a snowdrift or that’s slid into a rainy ditch, a tractor is always a welcome sight.

Attach the chains and they’re back on their merry way in no time.

2. Goldfish bowl

A man holds a pint of lager at a table opposite another pint of beer

© Phanie Agency/REX/Shutterstock

Villages thrive on gossip and in the absence of births/deaths/scandals, news such as who’s got their silage cut, who got a good price for their lambs or who is buying or selling land will fuel conversations in local pubs, shops and petrol stations.

3. Late-night revelry

Combine harvester working at night

© Mint Images/REX/Shutterstock

No, not raves – this is the flashing amber lights and trundling clatter of tractors and trailers working late during harvest.

Some local residents actually enjoy hearing machines pass – it makes them feel part of the countryside, brings them closer to nature and makes them feel nostalgic.

They wake up the next morning hoping the farmer got all the harvest in before it rained.

4. Excuses, excuses, excuses

Farmer droving sheep

© Global Warming Images/REX/Shuttertock

If car drivers encounter you in the tractor, you’re providing them with an excuse for being late to wherever they’re going.

Never mind that you pulled over to let the traffic pass, you’ve given them a bombproof get-out-of-jail-free card.

And if you’re droving stock along a lane, you’ll also provide their passengers with a perfect photo opportunity.

They’ll share the shot with a caption like “rush hour traffic”. Cue ooohs and aaaahs from their friends.

5. Sex education

Two sheep nuzzling

© FLPA/REX/Shutterstock

If a neighbour is having a children’s birthday party, one thing’s for sure. Your sheep/cows/goats will have sex. In public. In full view.

And children ask questions. But you’re actually doing your neighbours a massive favour.

Your animals have introduced the topic of sex education in a very natural way.

6. Parking attendants

Car park in a field

© Photofusion/REX/Shutterstock

When overflow car parks are needed for weddings, funerals or community fundraising events, farmers provide their fields.

They might even don a high-vis jackets and act as car park attendant.

Some drivers, after all, need directions when parking in a space which doesn’t have white lines to guide them.

7. Picture postcards

Rolling countryside

© Global Warming Images/REX/Shutterstock

Who cuts the hedges, the verges and the village green? Who creates the golden fields passers-by love to admire? Who provides the 50 shades of green in the distance? Who grows the trees that stand stark against the sky on winter days?

Yes, that’s right – it’s farmers. 

8. The scents of the country

Slurry spreading

© John Eveson/FLPA/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Farmers supply beautiful smells such as the sweet scent of freshly cut grass, but let’s be honest – eau de slurry isn’t for everyone.

But never fear. If you donate the occasional sack of well-rotted manure to those with a vegetable garden or allotment, just think how their roses will bloom.

9. Bake-offs

Fairy cakes with union flags

© Food and Drink/REX/Shuttterstock

Community living includes fundraising for schools and charities and fundraising means cakes. Once you’ve mastered a signature bake that everyone loves, you’ll be mown down when you enter the village hall.

If your chocolate logs/biscuit cake/apple squares sell like the proverbial hot cakes, you’ll command huge respect and will be delivering a vital (and tasty) service.

Lorna Sixsmith and her husband live near Carlow in Ireland with their two children, two dogs, numerous farm cats and their dairy herd. Lorna’s third book, An Ideal Farm Husband, with its helpful hints and tongue-in-cheek humour, is available in paperback on Amazon priced £11

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