Today, anti-agriculture groups are increasingly powerful, but their messages are not always accurate. Sadly, persistent misconceptions about farming are affecting consumer perception. Real farmers know how hard their work is. Taking care of animals and crops requires special expertise.
This is Hard Work
Today, machines make farming more efficient. You need to understand the specifications for industrial equipment to pick the right tractor specs for your farm, as each model has its own technical requirements like Ford tractor specs provide instructions only on specific types. Beyond technical aspects, there are many other skills to develop. Farmers also need to look after different animals, choose the right fertilizer, etc.
This work is undeniably hard. Farming is based on physical labor. You need to be ready for dirt, sweat, tears, injuries, and hearing loss. And this is required 365 days a year.
Farmers Have Little Time for Themselves
Most small farmers have no time for anything except their farm and family. They work around the clock seven days a week. When an animal is sick, they need to wake up in the middle of the night, or even sleep in the barn. Long vacations (even a week-long) are out of the question. Many farmers end up missing important events like ballet recitals or Christmas concerts.
Farmers Develop a Connection to Their Animals
They have to watch their animals get born and die. These are very powerful emotional experiences. For example, those who own cattle help cows deliver calves. Things do not always go according to plan. Witnessing a stillbirth or death of sickly babies is tough. Some people cannot handle it.
It is true that some farmers do not care about their animals, but these are (fortunately) exceptions. There is no denying that factory farming is often cruel and inhumane. Many small farmers treat their animals well: brush them, give them plenty of space to roam, feed them well and provide vet care.
These farmers have genuine love and compassion for their animals. They give them names, know their personalities, and develop a strong emotional bond. This situation is more common than critics think.
Small Farmers Do Not Make Money Easily
A farmer who does everything on one’s own will not become wealthy. Just think of everything they need to purchase on a regular basis — seeds, fertilizer, equipment and spare parts for it, etc. To someone unfamiliar with farming, the sheer cost of all these things is shocking.
Farmers need to calculate their ROI carefully to make sure their investments pay off. Nature complicates this, as factors like weather conditions are just beyond human control. Farming is hard work, but when the year is good, it is very rewarding.
The Bottom Line
Today, the agriculture industry is accused of using unsustainable practices, dangerous fertilizers, etc. Still, the job of a small farmer has not changed much over the past decades. Although machines are increasingly advanced, farming is still based on physical labor and extensive knowledge.