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I am a member of the oldest profession and proud of it. I, like so many before me, have had to endure the ups and downs of man’s needs, subject my body to the risk of harm and disease, bear the rise and fall of the economy, while always being shunned by society. Of course I am a farmer.

If any profession claims to be older they are falsely soliciting themselves. For my proof of age I turn to the Bible and note that Adam and Eve were in the GARDEN of Eden. Not a wilderness or jungle but a garden. “An area of land used for the cultivation of…” etc. Horticulture it may be, but still a branch of farming.

For further proof, the forbidden fruit was an apple, the produce of an orchardist. If it were said that the apple was just wild and uncultured, I would claim that the first endeavours of other old professions could have been wild and uncultured too.

So why do I have this sudden personal enlightenment, this self-pride, or this lift in self-confidence?

Recently, a man knocked on my door. He was not laden with a basket of household requirements, not knowledgeable on encyclopaedias, nor bristling with German brushes. He was a banker. I had never heard of him or his bank before, but he wanted to inform me that a near by farm was on the market and that he and his bank would like to help me buy it. It was clear he had done no background on my situation. He just came to the door and wanted to loan me upwards of a two of million dollars! No endless cash flows, no bowing and scrapping, no obligatory waiting for six weeks.He was a door-to-door salesman of money.

I have farmed through many seasons, now, and have watched my income fall as my workload increased. I have watched the Dairy Board sell my produce worldwide to create a large part of the national economy. I have endured the political manipulation of subsidies and kept cool while big business was promoted as the country’s salvation. Next I will endure the rhetoric of the importance of I.T. as it becomes the next Pied Piper. I will farm on and continue to be scorned by the rest of New Zealand society.

The banker at the door did not loan me any money.The yesterday’s Yuppie did not entice me into further farm expansion. He did, however, leave me with a feeling of worth and the feeling of being needed and wanted. I understand, now, that the cycle keeps going around with most of the players changing on each revolution. The only player that is always there, the axis, is the primary producer. The producer that is defined as the ‘first in importance’ or ‘first in position or TIME’. That is you and I, the Farmer.

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