Hello and thank you for checking me out.
So you want to know who I am to be talking about a subject such as climate change.
- I am an almost 70 year old mother grand mother, and great grand mother,. But none of that qualifies me to speak on climate change.
- I am an ex school teacher in the fields of maths, science and language and even that does not qualify me.
- I am the daughter of a farmer and the wife of a farmer and consequently I have been concerned about climate and weather fluctuations for most of my life.
The weather can determine whether or not we make an income in a particular year. If it is too dry the feed dries up and the dams dry up and we have to sell our cattle or sheep at a drastically reduced price or find agistment for them in an unaffected area. This is costly and inconvenient because sometimes our stock have to freighted several hundred kilometers away. The freight alone is a heavy cost where we pay $7- 10 per head for them to have a holiday on some one elses’ property.
Farming can be a great lifestyle but it has many challenges. As farmers we are at the mercy of the markets and the weather and whatever comes our way you have to take on the cheek because we are the bottom of the production line. We cannot pass our costs on to anyone else. So yes I feel almost 70 years of living and working in a farming environment where my financial security depends largely on the weather I would suggest to you that I am qualified to have an opinion.
I have seen many changes in those years from technological, through financial and to climate change.
The changes in climate have made it more difficult to farm viably as we depend so much on the climatic conditions to determine when we plant crops and harvest them and when we schedule the cows to be calving or the ewes to be lambing.
Just this year we chose to lamb later to avoid the cold. The climate let us down by coming in with extremely cold and wet conditions in September. Consequently we are picking up dead lambs every day, up to 25 at a time. There is no profit in that.
My point is that as farmers we depend on the weather such a lot for the success of our business.
Climate change then is a very real concern and my interest in it stems from my interest in farming.
I have no formal qualifications in weather or climate fields but I am not blind to climate change. We can all see it happening but I don’t feel we as workers on the ground are the main contributors to the detrimental changes taking place.
Every single day of my married life (48 years )we have checked the weather maps to see what is coming our way and we attempt to make strategic decisions based on the information the Bureau of Meteorology gives us. We are very familiar with the effects of climate on our business. So yes I am qualified to speak on something that determines whether or not we can earn enough to cover our costs let alone have enough left over for a holiday or other personal expenses.
These are some pictures of our farm.