So You Want to Move to the Country
May 04, 2010
Yes, I get the appeal of stepping out your front door and seeing miles around. I understand the romance in surrounding yourself with the beauties of Mother Nature and breathing fresh air. Bingo, that is why I live in the country and farm. So if you choose to move to rural America or select a lot on the edge of town surrounded by farmland, let me offer you some common sense tidbits:
- I will never apologize for having my farming equipment on the road. It is large and cost more than a BMW, please slow down and share the road. The more you honk the slower I go.
- If a farmer is in the field adjacent to your house with any time of equipment. Shut your windows! Dust is going to fly; it will enter into house and collect on your precious furniture.
- Yes, our equipment is large and makes noise. Thanks for noticing. Mother Nature gives us very limited days to get the crop in and out of the field. In season, we are working long hours and it is a large possibility that the field closest to your bedroom window will be worked in the early morning or late night hours. Remember, less interruptions the quicker the noise goes away.
- I will only apologize once (that happen at birth) in my lifetime for placing mud on the roads. I also paid for the roads and try very hard to avoid this but sometimes it just happens.
- If you live near a livestock operation, then at some point the normal smells will reach your property similar to the skunk entering your property. We cannot control the wind. Give it time it will shift.
- I agree manure does have an odor when applied to the field. It is a natural way to fertilize.
- Yes, I realize pets escape. Stray dogs wandering on the farmer’s property are more than nuisances but a financial burden when they harm livestock, kill animals, or ruin fences.
- Fences are placed on land for a reason. Trust me as ranchers we do not find great joy in building or repairing fence. Yes, each fence is either electrified or barb wired. It will do damage to all living things. Fences are constructed for both the safety of the animals and humans.
- I understand the appeal of wanting to pet a baby calf but do not enter my property from a side or back property line at will and reach across the electric fence. Yes, the electric fence does bite and I will not apologize for that. Secondly, I will not be liable for accidents on my property by trespassers. If you want to pet a cow, cool! Come up my drive and just ask!
- My farmland is not your personal recreational hotspot. No, you cannot hunt, hike, bike, canoe down my ditch, fish, dump trash, party, or partake in any other outdoor recreational activity without my permission.
- I am not amused when your child[ren] or you drive your ATV-Vehicle over my field. I take damage to my crop very seriously. It is my lively hood and you just cost me money. Likewise, I am not smiling when you ride straight towards my fence at full speed. Accidents happen you will get hurt (or worse) and my cattle will get out. My child pours her heart and soul into raising her livestock and she does not care for them to end up on the highway hit by a car.
- If I cut a tree down on my property, I am not clear cutting.
- Recognize that we are going to agree to disagree on many things. If you do not understand why I do something try asking before calling the sheriff, EPA, or other government authorities.
- Despite what you read in the newspapers, see on TV, or hear in an awarding winning documentary; I deeply care about Clean Air, Clean Water, and the Land. For generations, farmers and ranchers have been passionate caretakers of the land, water, and air. For more than two centuries family farms have demonstrated that sustaining the nation’s natural resources is essential to keeping the business in the family for the next generation.
- I did not invite developers to poor concrete in my backyard to replace acres and acres of farmland meant to feed the world.
- Remember, without agriculture you would be naked and hunger. Do not bite the hand that feeds or clothes you.