On a recent search on www.amazon.co.uk for ‘farming economics’, Hobby Farming for Dummies came up. When I clicked the link, the section for ‘books similar to your search’ brought up ‘The Art of Persistence’ and ‘99 Perseverance and Success Stories’ both written by Art Stanwicki.
It is not surprising that a search for farming yields books on perseverance. When you think of the risks that farmers face every single season it requires people with the fortitude to withstand pressure and failure at levels most of us can’t comprehend. I have spent a good part of my professional life dealing with risk management. When I look at the risks facing farmers and the fact that most of those risks can not be mitigated, it strikes a deep level of admiration in me.
I grew up on a large cattle farm in central Alberta, Canada. From a young age I was able to see how much hard work it took to keep things going. On peak days, or when we were short of hands, I learned on the fly how to vaccinate, calve, drive the feed truck and so many other tasks that just had to get done. And while we all worked very hard, there was so much fun and joy and pureness in living that way. It was genuine and tangible, with an underlying appreciation that what we did mattered.
We were close to poor. My brother and I had to miss sport games for chores, didn’t get to go on holidays or have the latest toys, but we lived life! I often tell people how incredibly blessed I am to have had my childhood. It provided me a strong work ethic, resilience, ambition, common sense and perseverance, not to mention a lifetime of happy memories.
I have lived and worked in 4 countries, my kids were born in US, Belgium and Finland. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best companies and people around – and my future is simple. I want to return to Alberta, buy a cattle farm and give my family a taste of what I had. For those who ‘feel’ farming, it isn’t just a job, it is a way of life that calls to your heart.
Kristina Sweet is the CEO and Founder of SKED. She is Canadian, living and working in Finland. For more information on SKED visit www.skedglobal.com or call Kristina +358443034203.