There is a natural cycle in Dairy farming that if understood, would stop a lot of unneccessary stress and disputes on farms. There are always outside factors that contribute to stress but there are also controllable factors that gnaw away at farmers at the grass roots level.
Believe it or not dairy farming is not a physically hard job. Before you cringe have a think about it. Modern dairy farming is based on a four-wheeler of some type or standing/walking cupping cows.
The challenge farmers face is that their bodies and minds are not conditioned to the stresses imposed at different times of the season.
The answer lies in keeping your mind body conditioned so when workloads do increase there is not a sudden demand shock to your system. Here are 5 things you can do to help you stay stress free:
- Keep physically and mentally fit. Walk behind the cows to the shed. If necessary get dropped off at the paddock gate. There is nothing more therapeutic than being with animals. They always listen to what ever you have to say.
- Keeping Busy and Being Busy are 2 different things – do not get confused. Use time wisely. Do weeds and small jobs while the cows walk to the shed. This will free up weeks of time that you spend fluttering around keeping yourself busy. It is ok to have nothing to do.
- Think big picture when you deal with your staff. Are all the targets being hit? Are your staff fresh or do they need a bit of glide time? Address issues at the appropriate time and place when you have cooled down. Free up a day a month for you and your staff to get off farm for a hack at golf or a fish or a shed BBQ. Learn to enjoy your teams company because they are the people you have hand-picked to make you money and help you reach your goals. Always remember that.
- Plan. Identify what needs to be done and what is not so important. Who can you ask for help? What can you do youself? What can you delegate? Never underestimate the free thinking ability of those around you to find solutions.
- Last and most important listen to those you love. Sometimes it takes time to relax and laugh again if you have been under stress. Value what is most important to you and that is your family. They will always support you whatever the circumstance so listen to what they are saying.
Share this with those who you think may be under some pressure and those you care about.