Farmer Focus: Farming is the greatest career on earth

Farmers moan a lot, don’t we? Having read my columns, I bet some of you are thinking I moan more than most.

However, the past month has made me stop and think how lucky we really are. Having grown up on the farm, as a child I would have my friends over to play. Our days were filled with pure adventure.

Mum would wave us off in the morning, then we would just explore – dig in ponds, camp out in pig huts, make assault courses out of bales, zoom about on quad bikes. She would probably only see us when nipped in for lunch to refuel.

See also: Read more from our other livestock Farmer Focus writers

Now that I have a toddler of my own, it makes me appreciate it even more. A couple of weeks ago the two of us spent hours sat in the pea field down the lane. The first job was obviously to make sure he could pod them himself so that I could concentrate on filling my own mouth with the sweet delights.

He comes round the pigs with me, and can quite happily just watch them rooting away. The hard part is getting him away without a two-year-old-style tantrum.

He is obsessed with tractors and insists my dad takes him for a ride as soon as we walk through the door. My friends, when they see the obligatory photos on Facebook, always comment how jealous their sons/daughters (and partners) would be, yet I bet many of us just take it for granted.

A lot of people have to pay goodness knows how much money for a family day out at a farm attraction to see the things we see every day.

My son even has his very own farm-to-fork education as we walk from the pigs to the butchery. We can watch the guys in action, from breaking down the carcass to curing the bacon, to making his favourite – the sausages.

And with harvest having just kicking off, I know the first thing he will want to do when I pick him up from nursery is get in the combine. How lucky are we all that we just can?

Anna Longthorp runs Anna’s Happy Trotters, a pork wholesale business supplying butchers, restaurants and farm shops with free-range pork from her family’s 2,100 breeding sows.