Best of the blogs: Why does Farmers Weekly print so many pictures of squatting growers?

Not sure what a blog is? It is easiest to think of them as mini-websites which give people the chance to write about their everyday lives and share their thoughts and opinions. Readers can then respond to the posts with their own comments or observations.

If you haven’t taken a look before, here is a taster of some of the blogs to be found on the Farmers Weekly website:

Squatters Rights by Matthew Naylor on The Longer View

“I was in Norfolk for supper (I daren’t call it dinner any more after the debate that it sparked among our Northern readership) last night with Toby and Teresa Mermagen. I was on the Worshipful Company of Farmers thing (which I’m always going on about) with Toby a few years ago. Toby is a real star and I make far too little effort to catch up with him considering how close by he is. If you have ever eaten Walkers crisps, there’s a good chance that he grew the potatoes. (Hey don’t leave that green one, it won’t hurt you.)

I was telling Teresa about my recent photographic assignments and bemoaning the fact that I’m always getting asked to squat down in fields of flowers by photographers. I think that I’ve grissled here before that if future generations look back at photos of me, they will think that I spent most of my life squatting down.

Teresa starting laughing and grabbed a collage that was hanging up by their Aga. (Can you imagine one of those gorgeous, homely, farmhouse kitchens with children’s paintings and things around it – yeh, like that.) This collage was a sort of montage that had been made by a friend of theirs and it consisted entirely of farmers squatting in crops.

It had the title “Men Squatting In Fields, 2002.” The creator worked in advertising and was tickled pink by our convention (or cliche) of farmers always being photographed in the squatting position. He thinks we are an industry of squatters.

I recognised quite a few squattees in the collage; Ian P and Mike Tucker from Yara were mixed in there. I’m not convinced that any farmer has ever asked to be photographed in this way. It’s pretty bloody undignified. Short of dropping your trousers around your ankles, it’s hard to think how you could make the image much worse.

You don’t see the Chancellor of the Exchequer squatting down to deliver the Budget. The Queen doesn’t squat down to open Parliament. Would Alan Sugar seem so “big” if he had to squat down before he did his whole “You’re Fired” schtick?

The FW will have gone to print for this week. I dare bet you that there will be at least three people having a little squat in there on Friday. Count them. Join with me for the CAMPAIGN TO END THE SQUATTING.”

Find more like this from Matthew at the Longer View

  • Got any ideas for an alternative to the ‘crop squat’? Share them on the forums.

  • It’s official, I am old by Kansasfarmer on FWiSpace

    “Well, here it is – or going to be in a little bit – May 7, 2008. My 40th birthday. Mrs KF is under strict orders not to mention it to me. 

    I remember when my dad turned 40 and he told my mother absolutely no parties.  I couldn’t understand, as I was 12 at the time, why he didn’t want a birthday party. I do understand now. My mother never has listened to dad and she threw him one anyway. I hope, and am pretty sure, that Mrs KF has listened to me. 

    One of my best friends says a birthday beats the alternative, which is very true, but there is something ominous about a birthday with a zero in it.  As another of my best friends said on my 30th, I guess to make me feel good, “Brian, your life could be half over”.  A beautiful thought I will always remember and cherish.  They use to say life begins at 40, I hope they are right. 

    Another thing I have been realizing for several years is that getting old is painful at times. My brother and I use to make fun of dad when he got up in the mornings as he would groan and creak. We thought it couldn’t possibly be real that he was that stiff in the morning – well, I believe it now, as I groan and creak myself. 

    Best part of this birthday (not) is that it is supposed to be raining heavily by morning, and I am supposed to load fat hogs. What could be a better way to start the morning on your 40th than loading a bunch of obstinate hogs and in the rain to boot.  As one of our popular beer commercials says: “It just don’t get any better than this.”

    Find more like this from Kansasfarmer here

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