Tag Archives: farmers

Hazards and risks

Working and living on a farm brings with it many hazards, bee swarms, walking in animal pooh, charging bulls, fires, barbed wire fencing, sand and farmers. The greatest of all is farmers and sand, farmers take risks none of us would dream about, the stories I have had about the farmer as a lad climbing the windmill, stopping the rotating blades with his foot and fixing it without a harness. This is not something he wouldn’t do these days, not only is he too old and we are changing them to solar, he is aware of the high risk of death should he fall off.

Can you imagine putting your young boys to climb up without a ladder and then stopping the spin with your foot, he tells me he wore many a heel off boots doing this.

windmill 15 4 2016

The other hazard here is the sand, our soil is sand over clay and there has been large amounts of money spent digging up the clay to incorporate it into the sand. This helps crops grow better and sets seeds. It is also kind on animal feet, they don’t walk on hard services and this is good for grass fed animals, “gentle on feet helps make tender meat”. (I just made this up as I wrote)

We also put in clay roads, which are great in summer to drive on but in winter are very slippery and all caution is needed to drive on them when wet. One of the things that is another risk is the sand, it comes in on everything, I see the cats roll in it and come inside and sleep on our bed. I see the dogs, go in and out of the dam roll in the grass and sand and bring it inside, it comes in on the farmers jeans after he has been working all day on the farm, in the cattle and sheep yards.

He takes his boots off, a small mercy as they would (like mine ) also bring in animal droppings. The sand gets into everything, in fact I think it is the main reason why the vacuum cleaner blew it’s bearings the other day, the washing machine empties the sand with each spin and collects in the lint bag, but it also finds it’s way into our bed. Most nights I have to shake my quilt and brush out my bed so as sand doesn’t get into places it shouldn’t. It drives me mad, I changed the sheets today and emptied all of the sand onto the carpet forgetting I have no vacuum to pick it up with.

It’s crazy I know, but some days with all the cats coming inside equal 16 feet, all the dogs, 12 feet and 2 people  means 30 feet carrying sand into the house, on the tiles, floor boards and in the bed. My husband encourages the cats to sleep on the bed and most nights there is a minimum of 1 maximum of 3. Thank god the house dog doesn’t attempt to get up.

How many pets and people do you clean up after? what’s your sand to feet ratio? I suspect we have a cup of sand per day I clean out of the house.

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T-Bone my favourite cut

T-bone

Doesn’t this look ready to eat and yummy. The white specks through it are just enough fat to make it moist and tender.

What is the T-Bone: it combines two lean, tender steaks. Consists of both top loin (strip) and tenderloin steaks, connected by the t-shaped bone. At-shaped bone separates what is a “New York Strip”and a “Tenderloin Fillet”.

The Tenderloin Filet extends into the short loin section. A tenderloin filet is a long tubular shape that is thicker at one end and thinner on the opposite end. The Porterhouse is cut from the rear-end of the short loin which contains a larger portion of filet. The T-bone is cut from the front end of the short sirloin which has a smaller filet portion.

I love to grill ours, add lots of fresh seasonal vegetables steamed and some mushroom gravy, which is the farmers favourite. Me I love pepper sauce but have never made a good one.

Beef Cut - t-bone

Is Paleo the best thing for Grass-fed Organic Meat?

I have been doing some research on the Paleo diet and if I look closely it’s something farmers have been on for many years. Most farmers eat what they produce and eat it organically even if they do not go to the trouble of getting certification. But in order to promote and assist the Paleo diet we must first look at what it is and why it’s so in right now.

The Paleo diet isbased on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food.

For a quick “do eat” and “don’t eat” see the chart below

EAT

  • Grass-fed meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

DON’T EAT

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Overly salty foods
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Candy/junk/processed food

As we grow our own grass-fed meats I would like to know where are you getting yours from? 

Out of these two lists I can say we aren’t doing it correctly but we are better than some. we have limited fish / seafood, But I have dairy, milk in my tea and coffee, butter on my toast and we have potatoes. So I guess we are doing what all people do, we mix up our diet to suit our needs. Where we live it’s a 100km + trip to go to the shops, so if it’s not in the cupboard or on the shopping list then it’s not here nor does it get bought.

If you are anything like me, I can look at a recipe and want to cook it, I will even go as far as writing ingredients on the list, if I don’t have them and then forget why I have written them down.

I have found a 4 week Paleo Diet Challenge from the Body+ Soul by Irena Macri. If anyone would like a copy click the link or email me admin@bullysbeef.com.au 

If you decide to do it let me know how you go.

Shearers and Farmers Agree

I want to thank you all for your words of encouragement and the positive words on the face book page and my blog. I think it is vital we all have a voice for our animals and our trades, there are very few farmers in Australia and the world that advocate cruelty to animals, in any way shape or form. Not to say that we are all perfect we are not, but deliberate attempts by organisations to show the rogues (there are those in every industry) the randomness of the trades, the bullies and those that need education all differ and high light the fact that we need to support even these people.

We can take stock and look back now at what PETA has done and thank them, we can thank them for the unity they have created amongst us all. We need to thank them for the fact that they have put our industry in the fore front of people’s minds to defend it. we can thank them for highlighting how ignorance and discrimination can create change for the better.

We are better off with them than without them and I mean that, for if they had not been so determined in their lies, fake lambs, vegan spokes person (nothing wrong with being a vegan – though to a meat eater it’s a different life style choice) and tried to con Australia into believing that the wool industry is full of horrific practices we would not be having the support of Australia and beyond. Groups such as PETA can do some much good, like expose puppy farms, – take photos of those cruel people who deliberately cage dogs for profit, close that sector down.

PETA we invite you to come to our farm next time we are shearing, I will actually pen a letter to them – an open letter and post it and wait for their response. I hope they do take me up on the offer, in fact I say why don’t we all do it, I am happy to write this and will share it with you. Lets get them to film us and our teams of workers and make them understand the frustration, the heat, the barking dogs and the work makes long days and frayed tempers but it doesn’t make shearing the skin off sheep and leaving them to die in agony as their picture depicts.

My friends at www.baabaabrew.com.au in NSW property Goongirwarrie sent me a picture of one of their Merino Rams being shorn – how hard does this look?

Shearing the Ram

Shearing the Ram

For Peta’s sake buy Australian Wool and support the Industry

It had to happen didn’t it? Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) finding another campaign to or group of people to attack, this time they openly say that the lamb depicted in the photo isn’t real, how can they use such scare mongering tactics? It’s appalling and offensive to farmers, shearers and those that work and rely on the wool industry for a living, I also wonder if Jona Weinhofen (also an Adelaide boy) has ever been in a shed before he agreed to do the campaign?

Most farmers I know have no issue with ethical treatment of animals they do it themselves. The farmers are out there day and night checking stock when they are ready to give birth, to assist cattle, ewes, horses well all animals under their care to birth without much complications as the rest of a terrible birth is the same as for with humans, things die and it’s awful. I myself have assisted in pulling a calf when required. So in most cases farmers are the true representation of Peta, without the scare tactics and money to photograph ‘famous people’ holding fake animals to prove a point.

The Shearing Contractors Association of Australia has acknowledge that poor treatment of animals is not tolerated nor is it endemic of their association. the footage that Peta run is from last year and they took that to the Association and it has been dealt with – each shed and Shearer has been notified and educated. That should have been the end of that, but no nearly 12 months on it become a topic to run in the media and to try to garnish a response, what did they want? do they want to shut the shearing industry like what happened with the Live Export ban? Do they want sheep to be left unshorn and suffer from this practice? or are they looking to up their membership base? One can only guess.

I am launching a campaign today and have written to many stores, wool producers and Associations asking for their support to assist the industry and get you all to buy a piece of Australian Wool, be that clothing to wear, like jackets, coats jumpers etc. or accessories to display i.e. scarfs and or Australian wool to knit with. If we don’t support the retailer, the whole industry will suffer, that is, farmers getting our of sheep, thus reducing the wool supply and putting our experienced shearers out of work. It is hard enough to get experienced teams to come and shear lets not erode the industry by supporting the fabricated campaign of Peta.

If you are a producer, or retailer or stockist of wool products and want to have a plug, please contact me of jump on my Facebook page or contact me direct robyn@bullysbeef.com.au. I want it to be full of positive things about the industry and promote Australian Made. Here is a lamb being shorn, lifted onto an old tyre, for comfort and to ease the strain on shearers

Shearing sheep - no cuts here

Shearing sheep – no cuts here

Value Adding

This is a term that our politicians (both sides) have taken to use when discussing regional and rural ‘opportunities and shits me to distraction. I heard it on the radio the other day, these ‘politicians’ have taken to try to placate the rural and regional areas by this will shock you ‘making things up’

I heard it in the build up to the last state election Martin Hamilton-Smith –  then Liberal candidate used it when talking about farmers and it went unchallenged by the radio interviewer, whether that was because the Liberals were not in power or whether it was because the interviewer knew this made no sense. (I suspect the later knowing the interviewer) I tried to get answers to what this meant, he was talking about getting the farmers to value add. Well I am still scratching my head over this, we do livestock and many a night I have wondered how I can value add so that farmers get better than 2009 prices for their stock. I have thought I could put bells on cattle – that is internationally recognized as something cows have.

I have thought about putting bows on sheep, mainly around their girth, purely for aesthetic reasons and even pigs (though we don’t have them) perhaps pierce their ears ‘Miss Piggy” Style and chickens rings on their ankles. This would value add to sum total of nothing and perhaps annoy people. I know farmers who work 24/7 to ‘value add’ they feed animals when it’s dry, they drench, they mark, they pay numerous levy and take really poor returns for months of hard work,  meanwhile if you speak with a food processor they do not hide their BILLION dollar profit in 1 financial year but still won’t pass on this massive wealth to the farmer.

So if any of the politicians, Liberal or Labor would like to let me know what you mean when you say this I’ll call a country town meeting and share it. I think I can confidently say I won’t get an answer and the reason for this is because of the following

This week here in South Australia we had another Minister Mr Geoff Brock get up in parliament and read out his response to the Marine Parks issue. He KNEW doing this would put people in his electorate out of work, he knew doing this he was siding with a political party that he declared he was independent from and perhaps knowing he would never be re-elected again. But then again he took a MASSIVE pay increase to become a Minister in power.

He was interviewed on his decision by Dr Annette Marner from the abc regional and he used those words to her. We are looking to the fishery people to “value add” and she fired back ‘how so?” he then went on to say he wasn’t going into that right now he wanted to get together another study and spend the next 12 months looking at the impact. In other words NO IDEA what this means, I wonder how many businesses can last 12 months without income and patronage to give Mr Brock his answer. I have thought I wonder what the fisher people can do to value add.

I note on his website he has tried to deflect this by putting out another re-affirmation on the CFS compensation as if this will provide the paid employment for the regional area that he represents.

How do people in business value add? What does this mean? If you are in business and can help me answer this question please respond it will perhaps offer our politicians new wording and an understanding of what they are saying as none of them can qualify it. I know we are meant to be ‘confident’ but what in and in whom? there are some many groups of people, workers, and regions who are being disaffected by our politicians, I would love one of them to stand up in parliament house and just say ‘crap” we are all speaking crap, we have safe jobs, safe pensions and we are making decisions with which we know nothing about how do we change this? Wouldn’t that be great.

Today is brought to you by the Letter B

I had a great reaction to the Letter A post and thanks for all the input, it seems the Auger brought out many responses and most similar to those with which I described. I am not a professional farmer by any means so my blog is light-hearted and I hope will bring many a laugh, if I offend (don’t read me)

“Warning this blog contains words that may offend and make your ears bleed (if you could hear it) and make you laugh out loud. That can’t be helped as it would mean you would have worked out the word and the code associated with it or can envisage the action”

Today is brought to you by the Letter B

At every farm door they are there, they stand waiting for the opportunity to be tripped over, they can be covered in mud, all different sorts of pooh, dog, sheep & cattle but are the backbone of farming life. They stay where they are left, be it at the back door or the front door, it is custom that they are removed from feet when entering farm houses to save the farmers wives from continually having to clean and wash the floors.

They are the boots of the workers and people who reside within the dwelling, and I can guarantee you no matter which door you take your boots off at they will be at the wrong door when you need to put them on again to go outside. There is no organization of these boots and you can guarantee that you will at some stage trip over them, kick them out-of-the-way in frustration and anger and the trick is to ensure you empty them out before you put you foot into them. They become home to millipedes, the odd mouse, moths, beetles, bugs and anything else that may climb in there to get away from cats or light.

They have been known to have been kicked and sworn at in the same motion. They are bastards amongst other things. the trouble with kicking them away is that at some point they need to be retrieved, to be worn. The farmer here loves to occasionally clean them or rub them down with beef fat (think the fat from vertical and grills. Yes it puts a shine on them but as soon as the dogs smell them they lick them (yuck) He also puts beeswax on them should we have some in the house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

.At times in the country getting contractors in is a necessity, as farming machinery is so expensive unless you are using it for more than 2 months of the year it is an asset parked in a building lying idle.  Getting contractors in to do work is important as it helps to continue the daily running of the farm, most of the time they are friends and neighbours which can be a little difficult. (Please take this all in jest as we appreciate what you do – just not having to pay for it )

One of the necessary items that a farm can require is a baler (we do not have one of these) we get contractors in to do this work, It is a skill raking and bailing hay and is environmentally controlled – too hot and it can catch fire so they stop, too cold and once baled with too much moisture the bale can spontaneously erupt. Think about some of those hay shed fires that appear randomly in the news it may have been incorrect baling of hay that may have caused it. This is a machine that rakes and collects the hay and strings it up in either round or square bales which will get fed out to the animals when feed is less on the ground. This could have belonged to yesterdays blog when for when the bill arrives for this there can be the word a**hole bastards or worse. (yes, you knew it was coming).

Despite the fact that all the working black / tan dogs on the farm are bitches, they have been called Bastards, loudly and often, most times when they are working and get over enthusiastic and won’t “SIT DOWN, GET OVER, COME HERE, GET UP HERE” (all said in capitals as he is yelling), it is here they become a bunch of bastards.

Black Angus cattle is what we produce here, they are beautiful animals for sure and with the limited amount of people who come here our ‘beasts’ (what else do you call a 500Kilo + animal? ) are fairly quiet. I sometimes look at him when we are together doing ‘jobs’ there are lots of items and movement that need the encouragement of the B word.  “COME ON YOU BASTARD” is commonplace when “we” can’t start engines, when “we” can’t dislodge items from equipment, when “we” are demonstrating how to get out of being bogged by deliberately getting bogged and then one gets bogged and realizes they do not have the equipment on the Ute they need to use to show you how to get out and to get themselves out. Oh the irony, here and one must remember not to change facial features (smile or laugh) for fear of the death stare or worse being sworn at.

One of my first trips out with him to see the property he stated “I shouldn’t drive through here as I always get bogged” I said “well don’t then” to which he did and by the time he finished trying to get out of it the mud was up to the foot guard of the Ute, it took over an hour to get me out as he left me in said vehicle with the dogs and walked back to the property approx. 5 km’s get a tractor and pull us out, this has not been an isolated incident.

One of the other things farmers do is going to clearing sales where they purchase other people’s goods. “We” like to buy books on farming amongst other things, now these items are things that are not wanted by other farmers who are moving off properties yet they seem to find their way in my home, we have a bookshelf of books that can be “thrown away” except for the farming books – note to self – that is all that is in the bookshelf.

Sometimes I feel this farming game may be the bloody death of me or at the least lack of expansion of my vocabulary. Please feel free to add any farm implement starting with B that gets the farmers blood boiling. One of the necessary B items the farm has on hand is booze and after some days you can’t drink enough to be rid of the sights and sounds of the country.