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A day to reflect and celebrate fathers around the country

 

As children growing up on farms, many of us probably caused our dads all sorts of grief - running under his feet in the morning to see what he was doing, talking over the top of mum on the two-way radio, borrowing tools and not returning them to their correct spots in the shed, or mucking up the settings in the tractor when we pretended to drive it.

But through all the challenges, farming fathers still managed to instil some of life's great values in their children - problem solving, responsibility, work ethic and loyalty - whether they were aware of it or not. As we pause this Sunday to reflect on our fathers and grandfathers, those of us who grew up on a farm know that the lessons we learnt from those father figures have set us in good stead for the future.

Safe Ag Systems' chief executive officer Katy Landt carries fond memories growing up on farming properties with her parents Mark and Caroline near Coomandook and on the Yorke Peninsula. More importantly however are the lifelong learnings she's taken on board from her father's approach to business.

"I do have memories as a young child which are typical of kids growing up on a farm - walking through tall green crops and being barely able to see him or learning to drive the truck while feeding grain to the sheep," she reflects.

"But when you look at him he's not that traditional hat-wearing farmer. He was quite progressive as a businessman. He taught us as kids growing up on a farm that you've got to participate, everyone has jobs that they need to do.

"He's always kind and considerate but firm with everyone in the business, including family members. They've got to be held accountable to get the job done and do it correctly and safely.

"Dad always showed us it is important to be business minded. You can't just put the seed in the ground and expect it to grow. You have to plan and prepare and operate as a business. As I grew, I took pride in lessons learnt from his business point of view."

Now with her own children, Katy is pleased her father is able to share some of the same stories and experiences with his grandchildren, a sentiment echoed around the country.

"Now, my dad is showing them the great patience, kindness and wisdom I remember," she said.

And like many farm kids, although Katy has now moved away from the family farm, Father's Day provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the teachings of our fathers on the farm.

Originally published 31 August, 2017.

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