I am not for one minute suggesting we institute a campaign for a month of April Fools Days but moreover take a look at what has been a huge month in the world of DOAFH.
In reflection I will look back on April 2014 as a month of firsts, getting the ball rolling was Wifey’s maiden voyage as a guest speaker at an agricultural event which saw her deliver a presentation on minimising production costs to increase sheep profitability at an MLA Meat Profit Day. In a farming environment where cropping is king Wifey telling 70 farmers that there is still money to be made in sheep and how that can be achieved could be compared to a young bloke telling 70 Mary Kay makeup sales women about a new line of lipsticks and how much better they are than the ones they have been using for years. Challenging to say the least….
A business trip to Adelaide meant I couldn’t attend which was a real disappointment however all the feedback I gathered on my return would suggest Wifey excelled in both the material she presented and pushing the point that if Mulga Springs can produce sheep profitably why can’t everyone else.
Another first was Kissa and MIL spending the 4 weeks leading into seeding off farm in effect leaving Wifey to run the show while they went on a trip to South Africa where among other things they attended the World Merino Conference. While this was obviously a great opportunity for Wifey from a professional development point of view it also meant our family could spend an extended period of time on the farm as a bit of a test case for future living arrangements.
ASH and ZCP loved this experience and it gave me the opportunity to add ‘checking waters’ and being responsible for feeding the 5 farm dogs to my ever expanding farming CV.
Amidst the craziness of April we also welcomed our second au pair to the Midwest and it would be fair to say there was a collective sigh of relief from the extended family when ASH and ZCP’s new Nanny arrived. You will all be happy to know I have already bestowed a nickname on our newest family member in the form of TJ which is not an acronym for anything other than her initials.
Now seeing TJ’s first day at work was ASH’s 3rd Birthday it would be fair to say she hit the ground running faster than Usain Bolt being shot from a catapult. As Wifey and I saw TJ not only handle our kids but assorted cousins and other children with consummate ease we relaxed a little and both thought “looks like we have a good one here”.
The majority of TJ’s time to this point has been spent on the farm and so far nothing seems to have fazed our 20 year old German au pair other than the odd spider in the outdoor toilet. I am quite sure she thought Wifey and I were a touch crazy in relation to how excited we got about the rain however as the paddocks turned green almost over night TJ really appreciated the change in scenery.
As with TNN I am sure TJ will feature frequently in future posts however for now I will direct you to the photos included in this post to view our Nanny’s somewhat pragmatic approach to Australian fauna that I have somewhat aptly named in my opinion ‘Embrace and Eradicate’
The last of my April firsts came by way of a very enjoyable 48 hour period where over 40mms of ‘good rain’ soaked Mulga Springs and heralded the start of cropping season. No one is getting carried away but as is always the case when farmers get some decent rainfall in April there is a healthy although unspoken air of optimism around the district and surrounds.
It is hard to put into words exactly how this optimism manifests itself across a community and for people not involved in agricultural it would be almost imperceptible. For me it is passing the numerous air seeders working paddocks on my increasingly familiar drive between the farm and our home, you can almost smell the anticipation and potential which I would compare to that feeling just before you have the first sip of a well earned beer.
From that point of view at least let’s hope a good pint is poured for everyone who puts a crop in this season.