There once was a farmer that smiled. It’s true
But it was a long, long time ago and it was just one farmer. More importantly, the farmer that smiled knew why they were farming.
Why are you farming?
It’s a very simple question but how many farmers can answer it fully?
There are many, many challenges facing farmers, but before farmers can tackle these challenges it is important that they understand just why they are farming. If you don’t know why you are doing something, then how good a job are you going to make of doing it? Without the clarity on the ‘why’, you are at greater risk of stress and unhappiness.
Perhaps not knowing why they are farming underlies the mental health issues faced by so many farmers. Working 18 hour days, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year without knowing why is unlikely to be a recipe for happiness.
Using research to help farmers become better equipped to deal with the future lies at the heart of the 2 Minute Farmer project. As we head into 2019, the headlines are going to be dominated by Brexit and the weather, both things that as an individual you have no control over.
There are positive steps you can take and we believe the first and most important of these steps is addressing the ‘why’ questions:
- Why did you start farming?
- Why are you farming now?
- Why do you want to farm in the future?
- Why might my farming be different in 10 years’ time
- Why would I give up farming?
- Why would each member of my family want to farm (or not)?
Answering the above questions honestly might not come easily, but many years ago I was given a great tip: ‘ask yourself the hard questions and have an easy life, ask yourself the easy questions and have a much harder life down the road’. Write down your answers to these questions – research across the business world has shown that putting pen to paper when answering a question is much more effective than simply thinking about the answer.
To get you started you will find just a few of the reasons why you may be farming below. If you want to be really progressive, ask each member of the family to answer the questions independently.
- Never given a choice.
- The challenge
- Producing food
- Protecting the environment
- The animals
- Nothing else I can do
The challenges facing UK farming have never been greater and this makes answering the ‘why’ question so important. Once the ‘why’ has been established you can then begin to consider if this will be sustainable over the next 5/10/15 years. You will then have the key reasons on which to base your decision making and planning.
So tell me, why are you farming?
There were 100s of farmers that smiled – now that would be a great article to write…