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Growing up on a farm creates great life skills


If you have children, you know you want them to one day be resilient, resourceful, show responsibility and a strong work ethic. So are you - or have you considered - raising them on a farm!?

There are many characteristics of children who are raised on a farm which not only help them in their formative years, but will stand them in good stead to be highly desirable as an employee later in life, whether it is on or off the farm. They will be loyal and respectful, as well as showing responsibility, resourcefulness and hard-working.

Farm kids are great problem solvers, showing initiative, creativity and resourcefulness. When you're living off your own land, you need to take action to get the job done, any way you can. Rather than calling for help, farm kids are likely to tackle the problem head-on and try to work through a solution. They've seen Dad use wire and zip ties to fix the broken so they are likely to be practical and will get in and give most things a go. They know how to use the tools in the shed correctly but are also willing to try new and creative uses to get the job done. There is also an understanding that the nearest help could be at least half an hour away, so they appreciate the need to try to resolve issues themselves first.

Another clear distinction is the work ethic of children raised on farms. For those on dairy farms, they know the sun and moon do not dictate the day's work hours. For those on grain farms, they know seeding and harvest are busy periods of time when they're unlikely to spend much time with Mum and Dad. But they also know that the work needs to be done, and it doesn't matter what time of the day it is, if the work has to be done, you stay and get it done. There's no such thing as clocking in and out, or clock-checking to see if it's 5.01pm and they can head off.

The generation of millennials have been labelled the "entitled" generation who expect everything to be readily handed to them. However, farm kids understand that some things require time to grow - and this will translates beyond crops or livestock to future relationships, investments, academic results and career success.

Responsibility is another key life-skill children who are raised on farms understand. It is also one of the most valuable lessons a parent can teach their child and will set them up as a highly valued prospective employee.

Animals who need to be fed, or crops that need to be sprayed, are jobs that can't be put off or delayed. The chores children are given are not an optional extra, but rather an essential part of keeping the farming system running smoothly. Many hands make light work.

If children learn about feeding animals, replacing bedding or helping with harvest, they're learning there's more to this world than themselves. They're caring for other living creatures and taking responsibility for being a part of that team. Later on in life, this will translate to a professional sense of responsibility, of taking ownership for your work and being a strong member of the team.

One of the biggest benefits of raising children on a farm however has to be the element of fun! There's free space to roam, tools to use, tractor rides with Dad, early starts and late finishes, sunsets and the incomparable sense of community.

Originally published 17 August, 2017.

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