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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012
John Lord, with 49 years of dairy fa rming under his belt, reminisces about his early days in the industry and how much it has changed. M y father bought Drumreagh in Deloraine, northern Tasmania, in 1950. It’s a very historic property and one of the first settled in the district to be measured out with cartwheel to a square mile, which is 259 hectares. We started hand milking with 14 cows. We cut our hay with a horse-drawn mower and dump-raked the grass to a hand fed bailer. Ploughing and cultivation was all done with horses at the time, but we only did that for about 18 months because dad bought two Fergie tractors, which were very new to the district at the time. Dad died in 1952, leaving my mother, brother and me at the age of 19 with a pretty hefty mortgage and no farming knowledge. I basically stuffed around for 10 years and then realised that I needed to learn something about farming. I went to Lincoln University in New Zealand and graduated in farm management and valuation in 1964, 10 years after I’d first left school. Farming in the 50s was hard. It was all about hands-on labour and was very much orientated to doing everything yourself. To realise that tractors are now laser guided and cows are milked with robots is such a jump from when I first started. Computers have also brought us a totally new dimension and made daily tasks a lot more efficient. I quit the farm 10 years ago. At that stage we were milking 200-plus cows and, after 49 years on the Idoa tremendous amount of fly- fishing and I've been crayfishing on the east coast for the past 10 days. OUR TIMES ChrisYoungPhotography Down on the farm
Active Retirees Oct-Nov
Active Retirees Feb-March 2012