Farmers under fire

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Last updated 13:30 19/02/2014

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I very rarely read Rachel Stewart's column as I consider it shallow drivel but once again I see farmers have come under fire from her poisoned pen.

I'm not sure whether it's a jealousy thing or tall poppy syndrome but I do challenge her to actually spend some time living and working on a dairy farm. Not for a day or two but for at least five seasons so she can experience all the challenges and realities that farmers face every single day.

It doesn't matter whether a farm has 70 cows or 700 cows, everyone has the same set of rules and regulations to follow. No-one deliberately wants to break them but sometimes circumstances get out of our control. It happens on every farm and we make no excuses for it. We work on our farms seven days a week and we don't moan about it. It's the lifestyle we choose. For the majority of the year cows are milked twice a day. If you are an owner-operator there are no sick days and no bearevement leave.

My husband and I have both lost parents through the milking season but we still both worked on the farm every day while dealing with the grieving process and the funerals. We rely on family and neighbours to get us through and for Rachel to suggest "pinging our neighbours" for some perceived inhumane practice, she obviously has no idea how farming communities work. Walk a mile in our shoes, Rachel, before you start bagging us.

DEBORAH CLOUGH

Eltham

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