Early in my farming career, I boldly declared to my father-in-law-to-be that farming was a business, not a lifestyle.
He was of the view it was “a way of life”, which with hindsight, and almost a quarter of a century of farming behind me, I finally understand what he meant. Farming isn’t always profitable.
There are months when the expenses outweigh the income especially in times of natural disaster recovery or a down turn in commodity markets. It isn’t easy and very few farmers are actually paid for the number of hours they work.
I like to think that even when cash flow is tight, most of us are still growing wealth over time. That’s what I think my father-in-law meant.
Somewhere along the continuum between lifestyle and being profit driven lays the truth. I never expect to be paid for every hour of imputed labour but I wouldn’t be in my current financial position if I had remained an employee all my working life.
I now believe we were actually in agreement.