This week Callum (Aerial Mann Multimedia) came out to the farm with his drone to capture some of the field work which is great to watch below. While I was sat in the field watching him at work I realised the number of ‘boys’ that were there all driving a vehicle with a job to do. It made me think about how much work there is on a farm and never enough man hours to do it.
In Dad’s day the price of a lamb would pay a farm workers weeks wages, I can assure you that if I offered someone the price of a lamb and asked them to do 40 hours of farm work for me they would turn my kind offer down!! The wool cheque used to pay the rent, if only that was my annual rental expense. The best one is I found the invoice for ‘Billy’ the 250 tractor we are restoring, £3,000, so I looked in my Tractor Mag and say an equivalent tractor today would be a £50,000??? So lets use that GCSE maths again and inflate the price of lamb, Dad got then what I do now!! Say it was £75, then using the tractor inflation rate I should now be getting £1,250. Now that would be more like it!!! Leg of Lamb £150 – 200 Wooooo Hooooo
Another example of how things have changed, ‘back in the day’ there were 10-15 people working at Ballakelly, we now have 3, plus lots of family and friends who muck in and help. I know machinery has taken the place of man power but they still have not created a robot version of me!!! Now that would be a bit of technology worth investing into 😊
Being serious though, there are not many young people going into farming, this is not because they don’t want to but because ‘old’ farmers like me cant afford to pay them or educate them. Even Tinky and H Boss who could have their own farm to run will struggle to support 2 family’s from the current levels of income. It is a sad situation and unfortunately I fear that the farming knowhow is going to fade away.
This is why Ballakelly started to sell its meat directly to the public, we are trying to reclaim some of the financial reward for all the work that we do to produce the product. The Government have realised what amazing local produce the Island has to offer, Food Matters is creating a new and exciting environment, which we hope will start to feed back to the farmers, fishermen, the workers behind the produce. Look out for the Isle of Man Provenance Logo as this ensures you are buying 100% Manx produce and it is just a clever use of marketing.
On this note I will leave you with this I found on the interweb