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JonBailey64
Veteran Contributor

I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

I prefer to be in a pro-gun state. I live in California right now. Oregon or Washington state might fill the bill.

I am in the will of a rich old woman. 

 

I want an organic farm. I want many types of animals. I was charmed by George Orwell's Animal Farm as a boy. I love a black and white Shire horse. Tough draft horse for farm work. He'll be a stallion named Samson. Holstein cows with predominately-black faces. One of these girls will be called Holly. Nice black or black and white dairy goats with erect ears. A billy named Diablo and a nanny named Honeypot for delicious dairy goat milk. Hampshire black and white pigs. One named Napolean and another named Wilbur. Gray geese. A lady goose named Gunnhilda. Barn mouser cats. A rooster that crows in the morning named Cogburn. Laying hens. Barred Hollands. Multi-color leghorns. Bantam Sebrights. Houdans. Mallard ducks. A drake named Donald. A Suffolk ewe named Clover with a male lamb named David. Fresh American spring lamb on the grill. An black angus bull named Goliath and a few angus cows and steers for meat. I will slaughter my meat animals on my farm in the most humane way possible. With a gun. A respectible-caliber, .357 slug betwixt the eyes. I don't trust commercial slaughterhouses. A black and tan coonhound bitch named Dolores, a black Shepherd male named Rover and a black Lab named Hunter. I want to release pen-raised pheasants into my fields for hunting season. A she-ass named Ruth. I don't believe in mules like the Amish. I want to dress like an old-fashioned farmer. Denim bib overalls. Long-legged boots. Straw hats. Work gloves. I will insist all my hired farm hands dress the same way: no ifs ands or butts (farm pun, goats). 

 

I refuse to employ any child labor. Except I may hire children to so light chores for no less than minimum wage. My child labor policy would conform to the federal regulations for minors working in industries outside agriculture. Only legal adults would ever operate my combine, tractor, truck, wood splitter or chainsaw. Only legal adult farm hands would be allowed to enter my grain silo and only with proper training and a buddy for supervision. My grain silo, grain elevator or other grain containers would be inspected

often and never would be allowed to deteriorate and become structurally unsafe. Clean toilets and hand wash facilities would always be provided for all farm employees even in the fields. I will never have any field workers work in weather conditions of above 90 degrees F or below 40 degrees F unless seated in air-conditioned/heated closed-cabin farm machinery. 

 

No chemical pesticides or fertilizers will ever be used.

 

All the farm's vehicular machinery will have a well-inspected ROPS or cab with ROPS safety benefits. I was thinking about buying old red McCormick Farmall tractors all painted up cherry coz they look charming but I now think better than that. Those were roll-over death traps for many American farm workers long ago. I would settle for the blue paint of New Holland. My barns and buildings would be painted a nice red with white trim. 

 

My farm would be the model for ethical ag all over America. I would never harness PETA approval, but I would certainly earn the label of "humanely raised". My farm would also be a model for Human Rights Watch in regards to child labor ethics. I refuse to be a profit-hungry greedy unscrupulous farm operator. I would have the family farm image as a model though I have no wife or children. I would be a bachelor farmer. My livestock would be treated kindly. My animals would only be bred by natural cover. Genetic engineering is out.

 

No illegal aliens on my spread also. Only documented W-4 American farm hands. 

 

I believe even a productive farm can still be ethical. 

 

 

 

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15 Replies
BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

You`re in the will of a rich old woman? Smiley Very Happy  that`s funny.  But with working outside, there isn`t bad weather, it`s only improper clothing.  you`d better rethink not working below 40º or above 90º.  It gets so cold in Iowa, most of the time we think 40º is a heatwave, I start working on my tan when it gets to 40.   And above 90º, I love that kind of weather get the sweat rolling, the hotter the better.  That is the thing about farming, crops and livestock don`t wait for perfect weather, you have to work when it`s ready, because it seems like the weather only gets worse  🙂

 

I hate to say this but I mostly go #1 outside, i`m not going to run in the house or over to a porta-a-potty, I just find a tree or a piece of machinery to go behind, just so the neighbors don`t see me when they drive by   🙂

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JonBailey64
Veteran Contributor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

I would also carry workman's comp for all my farm hands. They would be drug tested. I would get recommendations from medical doctors about working conditions and climate the farm hands are working in. There might have to be a regimen of taking breaks every so often depending upon weather conditions. I can't have my employees become casualties of weather. 

 

I understand the Mexicans with dark skin have a much higher tolerance for heat than fair-skinned people. Adult Mexican males, though legal citizens or legal migrant farm workers in America would be hired by me, not too old,  might be best in the warmest weather for field work but I would not work them to serious injury or death. Much of crop harvesting should take place in cooler weather as in the evening.

 

In Oregon or Washington, extreme hot weather should not be a major concern in those parts for farm work. 

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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.


@JonBailey64 wrote:

I would also carry workman's comp for all my farm hands. They would be drug tested. I would get recommendations from medical doctors about working conditions and climate the farm hands are working in. There might have to be a regimen of taking breaks every so often depending upon weather conditions. I can't have my employees become casualties of weather. 

 

I understand the Mexicans with dark skin have a much higher tolerance for heat than fair-skinned people. Adult Mexican males, though legal citizens or legal migrant farm workers in America would be hired by me, not too old,  might be best in the warmest weather for field work but I would not work them to serious injury or death. Much of crop harvesting should take place in cooler weather as in the evening.

 

In Oregon or Washington, extreme hot weather should not be a major concern in those parts for farm work. 


Why are you so greedy that you have to hire labor. Farm no more than you can do yourself. Don't expect someone else to do your work. If you want employees make them full partners.

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JonBailey64
Veteran Contributor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

Do most hobby farmers or even small family farms not hire any help at all?

 

In The Wizard of Oz, Auntie Em had three men as hired farm hands. 

 

There is nothing wrong with creating job opportunities in America. I could not have the conscience to be an unscrupulous employer as are some farm operators especially corporate factory farms. 

 

 

Here is the formula: how many farm personnel are needed for the number of acres of crop land planted, the overall farm size and/or the number of livestock heads raised so as not to overwork them to serious health issues?

 

If I had a section of farmland to work, how many hands should suffice? 

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JonBailey64
Veteran Contributor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

Having never worked or been raised in ag, I would achieve some degree in the ag sciences at UC Davis before attempting a personal farm venture. 

 

Many hobby farmers are former well-to-do city yuppies who are now older. 

 

A farmer has to know the difference between a combine and compost and a polled head of beef and a bean pole.

 

 

 

 

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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.


@JonBailey64 wrote:

Do most hobby farmers or even small family farms not hire any help at all?

 

In The Wizard of Oz, Auntie Em had three men as hired farm hands. 

 

There is nothing wrong with creating job opportunities in America. I could not have the conscience to be an unscrupulous employer as are some farm operators especially corporate factory farms. 

 

 

Here is the formula: how many farm personnel are needed for the number of acres of crop land planted, the overall farm size and/or the number of livestock heads raised so as not to overwork them to serious health issues?

 

If I had a section of farmland to work, how many hands should suffice? 


Why do you need a section. Take a quarter section and let three other people have a chance to work for themselves also.

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WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

Jon, just curious, are you in prison? psychiatric care? confined to your room?

Are you a child? a high school graduate? Have you ever seen a farm?

Do you have a job? do you own a business? have you ever had a job or owned a business?

Do you live in a house? Do you own where you live?  Do you live with others?

You seem to dream a lot -- can you do more? are you physically capable?

You seem to have a particular fondness for fictional regularities, or perhaps ideals, of the 1950's, 1960's, perhaps earlier.

Have you travelled to find anything similar to Mayberry?  Have you travelled further east than California or bordering states?

Have you considered an apprenticeship with a nice Amish family, just to learn the ropes?

If money is not a factor, why start with a section of land?  Why not just try planting a garden to see how you like it?  Apparently, you would not need the income from the land to provide for a standard of living? A garden is essentially a micro-farm, any size you can handle, you can always increase in size later.

Why the interest in so many different animals?  Have you ever cared for an animal, or a pet?  Maybe start with something smaller, like goldfish or earthworms or chickens or rabbits.  Have you ever killed an animal? Have you ever eaten an animal that you have killed?

Instead of actually farming, why not simply live off the land, plant only what you like, take only what you need?  Maybe have a pond, stock it with some sunfish, crappie, bass and catfish, try some fishing.  Plenty of undistracted time to dream while you're fishing.  Maybe have a little campsite or cabin, and garden, right there beside your pond, where you can fish in the shade of a few carefully pruned apple trees, peach trees and grapevines.  Maybe plant a few sunflowers and milkweeds and waterhemp for the bees and butterflies and birds.  Maybe have a little porch on your cabin, where you can learn to whittle and whistle, both lost arts of liesure.

 

smokeyjay
Advisor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

Oregon and Washington state would not be a good choice. That is, unless you like the EPA and intrusive regulations. Better rethink your location. 

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: I dream of a charming "Norman Rockwell" hobby farm in the American west.

It depends............

 

If Organic refers to the webster definition of the term, Smokey is right, go to the areas least dominated by political control.  Because in fact every farm is an organic farm.......meriam/webster definition provided below....  We all compete with organic production...  

(keep in mind that even the fertilizers created from fossil fuels are derived from what was once "plant and animal" origins.  And the sprouting of a seed does not happen without "chemical" reactions taking place within and around that plant.)

 

If Organic means the most recent politically meaning of a type where food can be sold by "safety" claims, then oregon and washington is the place to be and an abundance of regulation assistance will be at your fingertips.... Profit will be there as long as there is an abundance of extra cash in the family food budget.

 

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Definition of organic

  1. 1archaic  :  instrumental

  2. 2a  :  of, relating to, or arising in a bodily organb  :  affecting the structure of the organism

  3. 3a (1)  :  of, relating to, or derived from living organisms <organic evolution>  (2)  :  of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides <organic farming> <organic produce>b (1)  :  of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds  (2)  :  relating to, being, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with the carbon compounds of living beings and most other carbon compounds

  4. 4a  :  forming an integral element of a whole :  fundamental <incidental music rather than organic parts of the action — Francis Fergusson>b  :  having systematic coordination of parts :  organized <an organic whole>c  :  having the characteristics of an organism :  developing in the manner of a living plant or animal <society is organic>

  5. 5:  of, relating to, or constituting the law by which a government or organization exists

 
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