Every sixth months, in the five years that I have been farming, I meet a smart, driven, talented individual who is doing what they do well and will make a success or is already making a success of their lives.
What they all have in common is that they are lost to farming because they are not the eldest son and their father’s have decreed that the eldest son is to be the farmer.
In most cases they would make a better farmer than the older brother. For some of them I know the elder brother.
Occasionally it is the younger sister that I meet. Two strikes against her.
Every farmer has changed something and is therefore not doing exactly the same as their father and grandfather did. Yet this one habit/tradition is maintained without question.
Agriculture is under siege from all sides. Retailers, government, the weather and rising labour costs (labour is not working harder for being paid more). And yet most farmers add to this pressure by not planning for the right child to take over the farm.
We have to stop this practice.