Friday, March 2, 2018

What Makes A Farmer?

  I recently was blasted on A Facebook group that I was Not a farmer due to the fact that I didn't have a "regular" barn. If anyone has read my blog you know my animal shelters are built primarily out of cattle panels and Billboard tarps. They keep them warm and dry in the winter and shaded and dry all other times of the year. They have worked well for us due to the fact that we have always rented and have never actually bought a farm yet.

   This Rodeo clown(Yes, a rodeo clown and a rather well known one here in Missouri) on a large Facebook farm group told me I was cheating the government out of money and that I was a fake. I don't know this man but I  really didn't appreciate being called a fake...
   So it got me to thinking....
              ☆What makes a farmer?☆

  I was raised in the country almost all my childhood except for one year my dad owned a service station on the edge of town. My grand parents were dairy farmers at one time and in retirement years they had beef cattle as did several other family members. My other grandparents raised their own meat and gardened like so.many others. So did my great grands as well.
   My parents were like a lot of other country people raising our own meat with a couple of hogs and steers occasionally, always having chickens for eggs or to process. We had rabbits, sheep and a wide variety of other animals growing up. Never for income just to have or for meat.

  Fast forward to when I was about 26.. By this time I am married with 3 kids of my own living on 60 acres and my parents lived on the other side of it. My mom started researching goats and brought home a little Nubian doe or nanny as we called them then and a little Boer buck or billy, 2 bottle babies. My dad had cows on the 60 acres but goats were just starting to pick up in Missouri and proving to be profitable.
   My girls of course thought they were the best things since sliced bread. So that is how this crazy goat lady got started! By the next spring I had 2 goats of my own. 2 grade Nubian does named Sunshine and Tulip. I had built fence, shelters and read every book the library had. Information was scarce on the internet at the time. But I read all I could find.
 The next January I bought 7 more does and a buck. I loved the Nubians! I learned so much in those first few years and I still am learning. I have had as few as 2 and as many as 50 plus.  I can talk goats at the drop of a hat. My girls when younger would be like we will never leave because mom is talking goats. I enjoy having them. I do raise other animals, chickens, ducks, and small breed pigs... but goats are my thing.

 So does a proper barn or anything that is set as normal by society make me less of a farmer because of the way I shelter my animals is not the normal? I dont think so. I think there are many ways to farm.
   Just because my ways don't line up with another's preconceived ideas or vice versa doesnt make it right or wrong. Just different.  And that is okay! It's okay to think outside of the box. Who wants to be stuck inside of a stuffy old box anyway?

   So Mr. Rodeo clown I beg to differ.. Not that he will ever read this or if he does, even think he could possibly be wrong because he was so set in his ways and was going to use my comments for "material". So if you hear a rodeo clown making jokes about a "goat expert" that is so redneck that she can't build proper barns but puts her goats under billboard tarps and cattle panels.      
   Kindly tell him... I  am a hillbilly not a redneck( I married a redneck). But we make due with what we have rather than going out and building what we can't afford and losing it all when times get tough. I had a friend tell me it's creative and smart.. So I will take that and be okay with my creative farming. :)


 So if you have shelters built from things like tarps, pallets, panels or fancy barns built out of metal and iron.. Either way do the best you can with what you have and don't be afraid of the person that thinks a cattle panel should only be used for fencing....


HoneysuckleNectar said...

Wow! How rude! Looks like a nice barn and SO cool what you've used to build it with! We have cow panels and were trying to figure out how to use them for a greenhouse. Thanks for the ideas! Sounds like you're a 3rd or 4th generation farmer to me. Good job!

Tonia said...

It was crazy! But all well...
I made a green house at one time much the same way. Just make sure all the ends are covered so it doesn't cut the plastic.

tree ocean said...

Oh hey I have missed you over there on FB!! I have been slack about blogging and I am sorry some jerk was the basis for your post!

Your barn is awesome!!! you should see some of my tarp shelters! ANd my goat houses are basically four 4X4 boxes I built with aluminum sheets spanning the spaces between them so it is like a maze! but the goats need the lower ceilings. At the big goat farm with her big barn it was soooo cold!

And she had lots of temporary houses. WHat about cattle ranchers do they keep em in barns?

The James Herriot books are about a vet in Yorshire. One of my favorite stories is about a farmer who had a building and had doors and pallets and a table as dividers between the different animals. Then he went big into pig farming and had a big loss or maybe it was a dairy? Anyhow, he turned it over to someone else and went back to his building with assorted animals. In other words, the building did not make the farmer. The farmer made the building.

Hope you all are well, missed you!~

Aimee said...

How absurd. My “barn” is a 12x16 prefab she’s from Home Depot. It’s worked for us for eleven years, and I hope it will last another eleven. I also have a smaller prefab shed - 10x12 - that I use as storage and milking shed. I’ve been thinking about a new chicken coop - ours is just the fenced in, roofed area between these two “barns” and I was looking at a hoop-house design made with cattle panels. What you use for animal shelter is a silly way to define yourself. Do you have animals? Have you educated yourself about their needs and care? Do you steward your land? Congratulations, you’re a farmer.

Tonia said...

We are well! Entering that stage of life called "empty nest". Lol I loved the James Herriot books when I was younger. :)
I was just amazed at the level of childishness from a grown man. Why? I don't know you see this kind of stuff from supposed adults all the time... I am trying to blog more... I have missed it!

Tonia said...

My thoughts exactly! :)

Carol said...

I've used this method for greenhouses before and they worked great. We were renters back then too and we bought this place in 2002 and I have yet to put one up here :) Back when I was working I didn't have the energy and now I don't know why I don't do it. LOL! Lazy I guess.