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No job suits farming

  • 25-07-2023 11:45pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,556 ✭✭✭simx

    As the title says “there’s no job suits farming” was a phrase said to me the other day and it’s true to a degree, I suppose it depends on type of farming, any farming that involves calving/lambing can be difficult, dairy farming is demanding from a pov if you have to milk twice and go to work in between, what jobs have ye had that suited and have definitely not suited your farming practices or at what point did you decide it was one or the other?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,958 ✭✭✭cute geoge

    A council job well to put it better a job in the council because you could not say you have a job to do

  • Registered Users Posts: 351 ✭✭Nobbies wonder we've such volatility in farm gate prices for so long. Part time farming was a nod & a wink to the beef & dairy processor's that "we'll be here anyway lads, no matter how bad price gets " marts at night was also another one.

    Unfortunately also, see alot of lads, over the years putting money from paye jobs into farming. Facilities,machinery,stock.another nod & a wink.slippery slope it's been.

    Reap what you sow as they say.

  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ Victor Strong Lumber

    I had my own garage, but it was working from home so technically I didn't have to leave the farm(dairy) to go to work, but even that got too much for me, no time with wife and kids so stopped mechanics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 576 ✭✭✭GNWoodd

    I was at a meeting years ago with an English trade union activist and what he said has always stuck with me. It was during a warm summer spell and a few of the lads were in a hurry to leave early to go at hay or whatever. He genuinely couldn’t understand the thinking. He said that if you are lucky enough to have a full time job, that one job should be sufficient to live on. No ifs buts or maybes. If the pay or conditions aren’t good enough then move on.

  • Registered Users Posts: 736 ✭✭✭techman1

    Exactly you can't have it both ways ,I think only a job contracting with another farmer would suit or a weekend end job in a petrol station where you have tye rest of the week for the farm.

    You also have to think of your health, if you are working a full time job and then trying to run a farm you are going to put yourself in an early grave.

    The statistics show farmers have the most unhealthy lifestyles of all because they are burning the candle at both ends

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,116 ✭✭✭emaherx

    Ah lads!

    In a world of WFH, hybrid work and flexible work hours there is plenty of work to suit part time farming.

    I currently work from home with flexible hours, I can work anywhere from 20 to 40 hours as I like, but would rarely do a full days work between the farm and the day job. I work in a software support role. Probably a better quality of life than commuting to a full time office job or doing field service work like I used to. I've more time at home with the kids too and no childcare costs. I've even found time now to do a remote part time college course in software development.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,618 ✭✭✭Cavanjack

    We are never comparing like for like in these discussions. There are people running 50 acres and working full time and nearly haven’t time for a day job never mind a minute to do anything else outside work.

    I was talking to one lad recently. Him and his father probably have 50 dry cattle between them. It’s non stop farming after the two day jobs. To talk to him you’d think it was 500 cattle.

    Other lads could have the same 50 acres and work on the buildings in Dublin 5 1/2 days a week and the farm runs away fine. They’ve still time for football’s kids holidays etc.

    To answer the op’s question, the job that suits is one with a short commute late starting and early finishing. Teacher springs to mind. Shift work can also suit some. Working from home is really suiting some.

  • Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭Silverdream

    Neighbour in his mid 50s, milking 85 cows, works weekends in the local Hotel doing porter or doorman for functions and Weddings. Wife works as primary School teacher, gives Irish and Maths grinds to leaving certs in the evenings and weekends. No kids. Their parents live with them in the old part of the house, one of them on a defined benefit pension the other gets the state pension. Both fine and healthy the father keeps a large garden, spuds, cabbages, onions and carrots mainly, the mother rears about 15 of the bull calves by bucket to keep on "her" bit of the land that her family had.

    I often wonder whats it all for.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,204 ✭✭✭DBK1

    Some people just enjoy being busy and working.

    If I was told I could only work 40 hours a week I’d be wondering what the hell I’d do from dinner time Wednesday for the rest of the week!

    I get it hard to understand people that only work 40 hours a week and think they’re busy or tired after it so I suppose everyone is just different.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,032 ✭✭✭dmakc

    Same. Many struggle with the concept of having nothing to do

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,730 ✭✭✭Birdnuts

    My experience is that it can be done (and for most in beef/sheep, especially in marginal areas, outside income is a must) - but only if people are realistic about stocking rates, utilization of relevant schemes and having reliable folk around u to do basic stuff while you are away. I work a roster type job that requires attendance over a number of consecutive days that takes me away from my place in North Mayo to Dublin for work shifts of 12-13hrs, but this in turn grants me alot of free days in terms of an average 35hr week, also get good AL as an established employee of 25 years. Its taken a while but i think I have the blend perfected now touch wood

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,647 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    No time with the wife and kids you say, eh?

    Cue loads of lads googling how to start their own garage

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,647 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump

    Plenty of smaller scale tillage men could easily organise their farm work around a 9-5 with a bit of flexibility.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,192 ✭✭✭Tileman

    I have a well paid full time job. I don’t know why I farm it’s not for financial reasons but purée because I enjoy it. I have stepped back a good bit in the last two years. Sticking date down, thjngs not kept as well as I would like but still enjoyable. The kids are at an age that they are at matches a couple times during the week and I coach one of the teams .

    I could work all the hours in the week with my full time job but what’s the point . I like to be busy but love the variety of farming. Love doing diy projects etc.

    so you can do anything if your heath is in it. But id it’s hardship your as well out of it as you are only doing both jobs half arsed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,569 ✭✭✭kerryjack

    Heading for mid 50s now and you do get tired, up at 6, home by 4.30 try get a few jobs done and than there is football runs and matches so last few years it's been fulltime job first, kids football and activities second and farming 3rd, better hope wife doesn't read this. Get a few jobs done Saturday morning in for a few sneaky pints around 2 and home by 4. Try do very little on a Sunday.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,417 ✭✭✭Wildsurfer

    Teagasc advisor seems to work well with cows, I see a nice few of them at it. Probably can do alot of their work online from home now, a few meetings during the day, and farmers busy times match up with the advisors so they won't be ringing at milking times etc

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,518 ✭✭✭Finty Lemon

    So a job that suits farming is a job with not much to do...

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,218 ✭✭✭Grueller

    Work smarter not harder. I do see lads about here deciding that contracting or plant hire will suit. The problem with that is that if your arse is not in the seat of the machine, you ain't earning. An office/professional (whatever that means) type job with flexibility is ideal.

    Nephew here draws house plans and farms as well. It doesn't matter if he draws them at 9am or 9pm once they get done the client is happy. He could do a planning application for a garage in a couple of hours and get hundreds for it. Retention is another winner as the bigger firms don't want it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 324 ✭✭roverjoyce

    Teachers, 20 hours a week and 20+ weeks off over a year loads time to calf and lamb

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,782 ✭✭✭older by the day

    The thing I can't understand is what is his tax bill. It's amazing how/why people work so hard and work a second job with every euro being taxed at the high rate

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,945 ✭✭✭selectamatic

    Great holidays but set in stone.

    Waste of time calving or lambing in late June or July.

    You'll do plenty more than 20 hours a week, if it was that easy everyone would be at it.

    Grand for a well setup low intensity drystock farm but outside of that it doesn't make sense unless there's someone else about near the farm to deal with anything out of the ordinary.

  • Registered Users Posts: 736 ✭✭✭techman1

    Maybe they should reach out to the social welfare population to figure out how they do it. Afterall if you are working all the hours with full time job and farming then you are effectively paying for that

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,906 ✭✭✭amacca

    Yeah, only someone that never done it thinks its 20hrs a week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,906 ✭✭✭amacca

    Yeah, only someone that never done it thinks its 20hrs a week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭Silverdream

    Tax bill? The man was getting €55/week farmers dole up to a few years ago. I was off work and drawing my stamps for the 9 months, I was giving out about how useless the €195/week I was getting at the time when he let it slip about his small payment. The poor unfortunate!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,730 ✭✭✭Birdnuts

    Yep - the sister is a teacher married to Guard outside Oughterrard - he farms 30 acres of drystock so its a nice stress free way to do it

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,618 ✭✭✭Cavanjack

    There shouldn’t be any stress with 30 acres. The job that suits a man with 30 acres may not suit the man with 130.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,116 ✭✭✭emaherx

    That's true, obviously no 2 situations will be the same, but someone with 130 acres would be more likely to require less off farm work hours than than someone with 30 or at least be more likely to be working towards reducing them. Not all off farm jobs need to be the typical 35 - 40 hour week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,785 ✭✭✭mr.stonewall

    The side that is often forgotten, is that many part time farmers are using depreciation to make their systems more time efficient long term. Every farm goes through a development phase, for many it's all about making life easier and taking time out of routine daily jobs. For a good number they are in the higher tax bracket even before the farm income is currently is considered. Making these investments if the farm is profitable and at the higher rate of tax is a no brainer.

    Often as part timers, we are probably earning close to or even more per hour worked than a good number of full time farmers. We view outlet time as precious as we have to watch the clock. Even simple things are for part timers are huge. For me, it's fencing, roadways, good secure and safe cattle handling, A good setup and work system for the winter.

    On the winter front, having fodder in the yard that you work is huge. Drawing bales on dark evenings and Saturdays is such a waste. Even if you feeding more than 20 bales a week, serious consideration needs to be given to a pit. The up down of cutting and pulling off plastic would either you. Easier to strip the pit back enough for the week and work away. Time wasted on scraping passageways and going for meal in small quantities. I used to have a pit and still could make 200-300 bales between 2nd cut and surpluses. I would be so happy to see the pit opened, it just ate time. Now make 2nd cut in the pit. And it's hauled to the yard as well.

    Taking a step back, having a look at your daily work routine is huge and cutting wastage out where possible. It's all about developing a system that works around you. Not the other way around

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,566 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves

    Work and trade union activists are mutually exclusive and incompatible. I came across a good few and most never did a stroke of work. So actually doing a second job that actually involved work and being self employed would be completely outside there comfort zone

    The vast majority of dairy farmers are full-time. There is a reason it fairly incompatible with a full time job. It's just too demanding on time milking. Having said that an account too farm from me has go e at it. He just couldn't handle the profitably if beef. Mind you he was into it fairly intensively. Finishing at 20-22 months.

    Definitely would not go contracting. Adding another irregular payment job to a job where profit varies a lot is not ideal. Too many kids think you need to fit the farm before everything else rather than have it last in terms of priority.

    Everything is about attitude. I worked full-time and the farm was 12 miles away. I learnt to be very efficient. The two most important things are fencing and concrete water troughs. If both of them are in place then you stock will always be where you left them.

    I can understand in places sheep are the only option. But a lot of lads are ar5eing around with sucklers or trying to be mini tanglers. The other big failing is often machinery and deciding that you need to do everything yourself. The two big goinheadaches ( and capital hungry) slurry and silage I contract completely out along with hedge cutting. I have no interest in being a tractor jockey

    @mr.stonewall I disagree with bales especially for smaller units. You can feed 3-400 bakes a year in a yards with a 60-70 hp 2wd tractor. Feeding bales is all about organisation. But there flexibility in the smaller beef game cannot be underestimated. The trick is to make them as dry as possible.

    Retiring early-ish is also on the cards with the farm. I am semi retired for over four years now. The farm drove the ability to do that. It all about profitability

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