Have you been on a farm?

Heard on a recent MLA (Meat and Livestock Australia) DVD, as replayed from Feedback TV;

64% of Australians under 35 years of age have never been on a farm.

I just assumed we had all experienced – in some way – the farming life. I’m blown away that so many young Australians haven’t.

Haven’t known; the breath of fresh farm air rich with manure, the squelch of mud between toes, the endless rolling green hills, pastures rippling in the breeze, the dust and despair of drought, the gorgeous newborn baby animals, the abundant wildlife roaming free, prime beef glossy with condition… the smell of hide and hair, and grit and grime…

Australia was built on the backs of our farmers and graziers – yet so many Aussies are deprived of this experience.

I’m saddened. And so thankful that my life is rich with rural experiences; growing up with dairy, beef and pigs. Raising two kids on a grazing property with wide open spaces. Writing stories that capture the humour and irony of life on the land.

In my writing, and my photos, I will continue to share my Australian rural life with you. And I will hope that one day, you too will experience for yourself, a little bit of life on a farm – in real life!

Have you been on a farm? What is a farm memory that stands out for you?

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10 thoughts on “Have you been on a farm?

  1. thegracefuldoe says:

    I remember going to visit farms as a child, and now of course I’m married to a farmer and bringing up two kids on the land (all four of us are under 35). I don’t think there is any better way to bring up children. I don’t know if I could ever go back to town life after living on a farm. It’s so beautiful and quiet. The kids have so much space and get to experience the most beautiful and rich aspects of life.

    I love the sound of morning on a farm – the cows bellowing, kookaburras laughing, magpies warbling. At night there’s the clear open sky full of stars. Beautiful sunrises on the horizon. Views of distant snow-capped hills. Cuddling and bottle feeding baby lambs, calves and goats. Kangaroos bounding across the back paddock. Turtles swimming in the dam. The smell of eucalypt trees. Yes, we do it tough. We contend with droughts, floods and fires. But it is amazing seeing how people dig deep during these times and come up fighting with true Aussie spirit. And despite the hardships, it’s a blessed life.

    • Oh Jo! You said that so very well. Yes. The wildlife that I can never take forgranted, still thrills my heart with awe. Sights and scents and sounds. And the cycles of new life and regeneration.

      Add interest rates and bank managers to the stress column – and gorgeous, big brown calf eyes to the experiences. (When I bottle-feed a baby, they are my pets for life.)

      And then there are the roll-eyes, comic elements. I mean, how many times can you bog every vehicle on the farm??? Time and time again! ;)

      It is a blessed life!

  2. I’ve been on LOTS of farms! We take our kids to a local farm every autumn to get lost in the corn maze and choose Halloween pumpkins for carving.

    One of my clearest memories of farm experiences as a child is of a field trip my class would take every year to a nearby farm where the farmer gave us a tour of the place. It included some time watching him milk his goat – and he would squirt the kids!

  3. Claire says:

    I lived on a farm for two years and it was amazing. Hard work and long days but so rewarding to stand on your place and be able to see no other. To learn the seasons in a whole new way. I loved the chooks, the pigs, even the sheep. I learned to reverse a trailer up to a shed, how to drive sheep, how lucky I was to be allowed into the shearing shed as a ‘rousabout’. I loved the sound of the bush, the clarity of the night sky, the smells.

    I’m back in the city and I love it too. But yes, everyone should have a chance to experience farm life.

  4. We have a farm – 75 acres of peace…I love it. I remember saying to my husband “I probably won’t like it” when we moved here..now I would never (could never) move back into town……

    • There is much to be said for life on a farm. A visit gives a taste of that life. I still find it hard to fathom that so many Australians have never ever been on a farm.

  5. Well just a few weeks ago, my sister and I offered to look after my cousin’s ‘small farm’ near Victor Harbor in South Australia for ONE WHOLE WEEK! It was a dream come true for me – I am sure there is more than a little bit of the ‘country’ in me – however, we had a ball. Only chickens really to take of – but there was a mixed bag of sheep in the paddocks, all the bird life you would want to hear, crisp silvery mornings, curious cows in next door’s paddocks and picking fresh produce from the vegie garden.
    It will always remain as one of my most treasured memories.

    Janeen

    • What a treat! I am sure you were inspired. :)

      Your comment made me think… It’s a bit like when we go to the big city. It still boggles my mind, the enormity of cities – the infrastructure. The sirens. The lights at night! People can describe it – but it has to be seen to be believed.

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