Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Farmers' Cabin Fever

It’s that time of year…in regards to winter weather…it’s the beginning of the end, and the nice days are merely a tease.  The end of this week means a lot to farmers here in New York, the annual Farm Show in Syracuse.  Just in time, as a matter of fact, to get farmers out of the barn, house and shop to do what they love best…shoot the bull and gossip (at the same time learning new farming tips).  

Farming schedules are dictated by the weather and there is a natural instinct in farmers every spring to get on the tractor and go to the field.  The New York Farm Show is a stepping stone to rejuvenating this drive.  By getting out seeing the newest and coolest equipment, talking to friends, acquaintances and people in general, farmers industries wide, get the seed of motivation planted in them.  When they get home after the event, many are a whole new person.  Before long they are getting jobs done they have been putting off most of the winter because there was really no reason to tackle them.  Many spend the winter months doing the tedious work of taxes, crop planning, year beginning balance sheets, tending to the cows (for dairy farmers), playing catch up (as always) and for some, seasonal butchering.  But now they find themselves out in the shop changing oil, replacing plow shears, greasing all the equipment and adjusting the drill and corn planter. 
For many, getting into the field and working the ground, fertilizing, planting and spreading manure is practically a sport.  There is competition in many farm communities to be the first one to be plowing, planting, etc…and it goes on with mowing hay and chopping corn later in the year.  The red-blooded American farmer embodies the American dream and has unparalleled work ethic.  

On a more serious note, events such as the New York Farm Show do more than just motivate, they provide much needed time to get away from the farm work and get some unseen therapy.  Sadly, according to New York Farm Bureau Vice President Eric Ooms, as of January 2010, statistics from New York Farm Net, a not-for-profit organization that runs a free assistance program for distressed farmers, show that suicides are on the rise in the state.  2009 was a devastating year for dairy farmers all across the United States and since then it has been exceptionally hard to recover.  So with this in mind, as little as the event may seem to the general public, such on goings as the New York Farm Show come at an opportune time during the year when EVERYONE is notably tired and sick of the weather.  (Meat Trade News Daily) 

USA-Tragedy of Farmers Suicide. (2010, January 28). Retrieved February 24 , 2011, from Meat Trade News Daily :

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