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Children on the farm….

Charlies loves going out with his dad and checking the cattle and the sheep.  Sometimes it takes longer for Farmer Dan to get his daily jobs done if Charlie is with him, which can be frustrating for him.  But we also believe very strongly that if our farm has a future then that future will be in the hands of our children, and they need to be involved at any age, especially if they show a keen interest.  We want them to enjoy working with their Dad (and me) and also learn how to position themselves around animals and what to look out for when doing daily checks.  Our 13 year old son, Jim, who has Down Syndrome LOVES helping Dan, and when he is away and I have to do the rounds he shows me all of the things that need to be checked, and reminds me if I forget anything.  



It would be easier and often quicker if the children were just left at home, but part of building a love of the land and a work culture in our family means that we have to be patient, especially when they are young, and involve them in the tasks and activities that they can successfully participate in.  We also pay them a wage when they help us complete project jobs such as fencing.  This teaches them that there can be financial reward on the farm, not just endless jobs with no pay!  We have told them all that if they can think of a business enterprise that they can layer over the top of our enterprises, then they are welcome to start it on this farm.  That hasn’t happened yet, and I’m sure if it does there’ll be problems to iron out, but what it does do is give them all that option, if that is where their desire and vocation calls them, without having to start all over again.  Hopefully one of them will want to do marketing!!!

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