Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Only A Farmer!

 "Worm or beetle-- drought or tempest
on a farmer’s land may fall,
Each is loaded full o’ruin,
But a mortgage beats ‘ em all.”
                Will Careton

 I sit here huddled in the truck with a warm blanket and a thermos of tea. I am soaking wet, shivering and cold, even with having worn rain gear, wool socks and my trusty rubber boots.
 I have just walked around in the rain watching My Hero and many, many others check out the equipment at a farmer’s dispersal auction sale.
 This farm used to be a big dairy farm, then was converted to a beef farm after the farmer was too old, too sick, or just tired of milking. It is always a hard day for the farmer, or the family, the cold pouring rain is only making matters worse.

 The community comes out to support the family. There are farmers who still continue to farm, retired farmers, beginning farmers, and just the curious all standing here listening to the auctioneer bellow out the numbers. Most people are huddled in the buildings but a few brave souls are running around from cover, to cover checking out the equipment.
 We met a couple that had been beef farmers, plus working fulltime off farm jobs. When it had gotten to difficult they sold out. They were at this auction to buy equipment for the ever-expanding herd they had started raising again. He was close to retirement and thought he needed something to keep him busy. “In the blood” is a true statement. The wife was not as enthusiastic; she remembers the long hours, the chasing, the worries of the constant need for fencing from nearby, not so happy, village neighbours; he had apparently forgotten. She loves her farmer.
 I can’t see an auction any where in our near future. I am sure it will be a day of very mixed emotions. My Hero has it in his blood also. I think I may have acquired this tainting of the blood over the years. I was not born with it. It will be a sad, hard day none the less for both of us.

 It is now pouring harder, I can hear, and see the rain bouncing off the truck. I will sit here with my blanket, and my tea, with pen to paper, watching only a true farmer walk by with his hopes and his dreams whatever they may be.
 There are a lot of young people with stars in their eyes. This is a great thing. Good Luck to them.



  1. It can be a hard life -- but it is the only life many of these farmers have known. They can't do anything else.

    I've been to a few farm auctions and they can be long, drawn out affairs, even in warmer weather. :)

  2. It is in the blood, isn't it. Can't let it go and it hurts when one has to. Farm auctions are not just that but a social club of sorts where farmers discuss the past and the future of a culture only they can love. The cover isolated from the rest of main stream and they truly are unique. Lovely photo's. Makes me almost wish I were there!Not enjoying this cold wet weather.

  3. It certainly looks like one dreary day!

  4. Oh I remember the sales of the farms and equipment. Everyone would go to see how much was sold for what price, also a get together. A hand shake, a tip of the hat, the 'spread' that was provided and a good old Aussie chin wag.
    Then there was the thought for the farmer who was selling. Sometimes a sad time, other times happy.

  5. this was a beautiful post. really struck a melancholy chord in me. i've gone to a few of these in my younger days. it's so true - the sadness for a lost way of life being sold to the highest bidder, yet others in the thick of it still struggling and trying to get a good deal on some much-needed equipment, still others in their youth and exuberance thinking they can do it all and succeed.

    really nice job...

  6. I'll just echo texwis girl......

    (and yes, those rubber boots ARE trusty, aren't they?!)

  7. I think you summed it up quite nicely. Much as we weary of being "tied down" to our cows, I'm sure the day we need to sell them will be bittersweet. It's definitely in the blood.
    Neighborhood farm auctions around here are quite the event...everyone..I mean EVERYONE comes!

  8. Great post Buttons. I really enjoyed it~took me back...

  9. My best friend is a dairy farmer and it is one hard job. With long hours for little pay.

  10. Good thing we are driven to do such things as farming by some inner urge. Common sense is not a part of love. Good thing also for anyone who likes to eat.

    A beautiful, well done but sad post.

  11. I think the rain was very fitting for this emotional day. Good post.

  12. a sad dreary day for one family but maybe a bright wonderful day for another who is just starting out. our state lost 200 farms two years ago. it saddens me that this is a trend. my grandparents gave up dairy farming for retirement and i know it was a tough and sad time for them. we still go by and photograph the farm. part of the old barn still stands and i got to go in and explore a bit... a bittersweet moment for me.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.