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Old 11-23-2009, 06:37 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,158,208 times
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I am like that too THL...

I treat my sheep and cattle very good, and give them the best care I can everyday. And they show that by being healthy and robust. But don't be swayed, I have no qualms about giving a bottle to a navel ill lamb every two hours for two days straight and then putting a gun to its temple 4 months later and pulling the trigger. I did what had to be done on day 1 of its life, and the same thing on day 150 of its life. No harm, no foul...just the way it is.

As for the full time farmer versus the homesteader...the only real shame is that more homesteaders and farmers do not work together. My fledgling sheep operation relies quite heavily on the big dairy farm for such things as feed and medicines...things they have in huge volumes where as if I was to buy that stuff, it would be cost prohibitive. But for them labor costs a lot, so we trade. I work for them for nothing doing milking and field work as a fill in person, and it shakes out in incredibly low feed costs for my sheep. It works well because we are in constant communication.

I can see where a homesteader desires self reliance...and to a lesser extent the full time farmers as well, but if we all worked together more (the homesteaders and the full time farmers) the costs of raising livestock would certainly be reduced.

Today...as never before...its in your best interest to help your neighbor because tomorrow you might be the one that needs help.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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Sounds like SCGranny is doing a good job and has thought things out...never liked a short horse, though!

I respect her desire to milk cows, but that was a road neither my dad or I wanted to go down...talk about being tied to something...2 times a day...7 days a week...365 days a year...dang, that 730 times a year! With 2 milk cows, she'll be milking something 1,460 times in one year...tooooooo much for me.

My dad had a dark sense of humor---the only cow we ever named was the one that was picked to butcher for OUR freezer...and he named it the same name every year...Sam. I used to ask if someone named Sam had done him wrong.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,778 posts, read 6,688,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
I am like that too THL...

I treat my sheep and cattle very good, and give them the best care I can everyday. And they show that by being healthy and robust. But don't be swayed, I have no qualms about giving a bottle to a navel ill lamb every two hours for two days straight and then putting a gun to its temple 4 months later and pulling the trigger. I did what had to be done on day 1 of its life, and the same thing on day 150 of its life. No harm, no foul...just the way it is.

As for the full time farmer versus the homesteader...the only real shame is that more homesteaders and farmers do not work together. My fledgling sheep operation relies quite heavily on the big dairy farm for such things as feed and medicines...things they have in huge volumes where as if I was to buy that stuff, it would be cost prohibitive. But for them labor costs a lot, so we trade. I work for them for nothing doing milking and field work as a fill in person, and it shakes out in incredibly low feed costs for my sheep. It works well because we are in constant communication.

I can see where a homesteader desires self reliance...and to a lesser extent the full time farmers as well, but if we all worked together more (the homesteaders and the full time farmers) the costs of raising livestock would certainly be reduced.

Today...as never before...its in your best interest to help your neighbor because tomorrow you might be the one that needs help.
My father could never shoot one of his animals. He has a dairy, 300,000 broilers, and beef cattle in addition to grain farming. So he's a real farmer in any sense of the word. When my grandfather was alive, he came and did and killing that had to be done. Now its either the local butcher or one of my brothers. Dad never had the stomach for it anymore than I did. Of course our cows and chickens had no names. But still...

Just as an aside, I had never heard of 'homesteaders' before coming to this site. In Canada the move is still from the country to the city. I'm assuming that 'homesteader' means someone who wants a little plot of land with a cow and maybe a couple of chickens for eggs and a garden? If that's what it means, there aren't any homesteaders here. And there are still always people available who grew up on farms available for hire. Although it sounds like you have a good relationship going with your neighbour. Good for you both.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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The term homesteader is a very old one and I think the homestead exemption has been on property taxes for quite awhile. Its not a term the people of this forum just dreamed up.

The problem lies in that many people who are homesteaders are jumping on this bandwagon calling themselves farmers now that farming is an occupation that is now vogue. The US Gov defines a farmer as anyone who makes 1000 dollars or more in profit from agricultural products a year. As I said it is a VERY easy to obtain that sort of money from agriculture, but you do have to actively sell commodities.

Yet the majority of people that like to call themselves farmers day in and day out are actually homesteaders. Homesteaders are people who raise animals strictly for their own use and have no intention of making any money from it. There is no shame in that, but there is a vast difference in trying to make a profit from farming versus just keeping enough livestock or veggies on your place to feed yourself. If you are keeping animals so that you can be self-suffecient then your a homesteader and not a farmer.

And then there are the Hobby Farmers. These are a cross between the two. They might have enough livestock to sell a few animals to people here or there, but they really do not do so to make any sort of profit.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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Some people can do it and some cannot no matter if they are farmers or not. I did get out of the killing business back in 2004. Before that year I had people who could not afford to take their animals to the vet to have them put down, come to me instead. They would give me a sad story, I'd reassure them, take the pet out back, do the dead, stick them in a box and hand them back (I don't shovel).

No big deal.

But in 2004 I counted it up and I put almost 300 animals down in that year alone. I'm all about raising animals right, and doing the right thing, so I just got tired of the sad stories and all the killing. So I retired and told people I could no longer do it. I can still do my own animals of course, and have put down my own dogs which is about the hardest thing to do, but to just give people a low cost, easy way out of pet ownership...no I am not all about that.

I just wish people today would take care of the animals they got and realize that animals have shorter life spans then what we have. It is inevitable that we will outlive our pets and livestock and as responsible animal owners we have to be prepared for that day. You don't have to be able to do the euthanasia yourself, but you should not pass the animal on to someone else and have them deal with the problem.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:56 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,683,788 times
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--" I had never heard of " homesteaders" before coming to this site"-

I had.

But " homesteading" used to involve the Homestead Act where people were encouraged by free land to move to an area , clear land for fields, build a house, and make a living.

Today that phrase has been hijacked by city people who buy some vastly overpriced land that is marginal for farming, brag they--" acquired prime farm land"--, have a full time job or a pension to support their fantasy, and call themselves --"homesteaders"

Awhile back someone asked about " homesteading" in the North Dakota forum and the people didn't even know what she was talking about.

Sorta like the young people who call themseves--" artsy bohemians"

They must be the descendants of the hippies of the 60's but just wanted a different name
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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Very true Marmac, and I think you will find that back then their was very specific things the homesteader had to do to get that land, and if they didn't they would be booted off. For that reason the homesteaders worked very hard and were rewarded for that hard work.

Today there is no ramifications for failure so they leave unusable fields in their wake as they "tried and failed".
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,778 posts, read 6,688,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
The term homesteader is a very old one and I think the homestead exemption has been on property taxes for quite awhile. Its not a term the people of this forum just dreamed up.
It wasn't my intention or meaning to suggest the term "homesteaders" was a forum invention. I'm well aware that it is an old term, as well as a legal term, and know all the historic associations of having to clear land within x amount of time. I had just never heard it used in modern times in a modern context.

As far as your delineation between modern homesteaders and hobby farms, the gist - if I understand you correctly, is that homesteaders want to be completely self-sufficient? And hobby farmers just want a couple of horses (usually) and have no intention of chopping their own wood or growing their own food?

I would wish them luck if we had them here but I think the winters would drive out any idea of self-sufficency pretty quickly. Old-timers lived the way they lived because there was no option and many died. I can remember my father finding his way to the barn with a rope tied to the door and himself. There are tons of not-so-old stories here of people dying within an arm's length of their front doors, unable to see where they were in a blizzard.

Our worst winter day last year with windchill was -57 Celsius. (Sorry - no idea what that is in Fahrenheit)

As to your next post, I've stated, I think, that I understand the necessity of killing animals at times. I am not a vegetarian. And I do not look down in the slightest on those who do what I don't have the stomach to do but which needs to be done on occasion.

I even have - - a fancy fur coat, given to me by husband before we married. It was kinder to accept a gift of love than to return it. It comes in handy now that we have been married enough years for him not to be offened, when, on those -40C days I have to drive somewhere and I toss it in the van in case I have a breakdown. Much more practical than wearing it to the opera to impress other folks

I have even on occassion worn it while mucking out the barn. There is nothing warmer than fur. But it isn't something I would ever have bought or wanted for myself or that I approve of for looks, prestige or whatever you want to call it.

Which isn't to say that I don't look down on those who just like to kill everything in sight for no other reason than it is living but that's a different story from what I thought we were discussing.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:26 AM
 
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thanks for sharing, i guess i will never know how it like in -57 C, i know how 100 F feel like and some time just wish that i am some where with snow on the ground and beautiful sunshine.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:32 AM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,784 posts, read 7,042,595 times
Reputation: 7473
-57c = -70.6f
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