At a social get-together today, someone said dairy farming was glamorous. Rewarding, challenging, interesting, in touch with nature, a great way to raise a family, yes. Glamorous? I’d never thought of it that way. My friend (not a farmer) pointed out that many urban professionals might envy the freedom and sense of purpose enjoyed by dairy farmers.
It’s all about perspective, I guess. My husband saw me engrossed in reading a farmer’s newsletter last night and said: “You really love your farming, don’t you?”. “Yes,” I said, “Look at this! Turns out the nitrogen in the first effluent pond is much less volatile and…”. Well, there’s nothing sexy about a primary effluent pond. Realising how ridiculous I sounded, all I could do was laugh at myself. I do love it – especially learning how all the natural systems that come together in a farm work – even though there are days when it’s a really hard, dirty and uncomfortable grind that’s anything but glamorous.
But how do other Australians see us? According to one 2010 poll, as trustworthy. I wonder how the milk wars have affected public perceptions.