Total lack of knowledge

I have yet to find any ‘From the Editor’ comments that are not extremely valid and balanced insights effecting the farming community and appreciate this balanced opinion.

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I would, however, like to respond to your letters page (15 June, pg 10). My feelings regarding some of the comments readers submit makes me wonder as to their grasp of the realities in South Africa.

Disturbing behaviour
The letter entitled ‘Disturbing behavior’ from Matthew was really annoying. Why did he not actually try and find out the real reason for the black guy being in the load bin? I often have black guys in the back of my bakkie in all weather conditions. If you had to ask me why they are there I would probably have assaulted you for having the arrogance to ask why. In the first place, I had, in all probability, picked them up from the side of the road as they wanted to go in the same direction as I was going.

Whether they were black or white makes no difference. I did not know them and no way were they sitting inside my cab. I do not need to have a gun or knife held to my head. This is South Africa. If I know them, they can get inside the cab without a problem but if I have my dogs or my shopping in the cab they will get in the back. That is my right and I really don’t give a damn what anybody has to say, black or white.

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My farm workers are extremely well looked after and I know they also look after my family. Matthew should try and visit a farmer and live the life for a few days to understand the stress/problems and achievements before making a comment that is going to be read by such a diverse readership.

Drop the prices
Regarding the letter ‘Drop the prices’. I know there is a total lack of knowledge from the majority of the population regarding the production costs of farming but I think Farmer’s Weekly could have responded to Ivan Smith with a free lesson in economics. So I will instead. South African farmers do not get any subsidies. All other countries give their farmers massive subsidies, directly or indirectly. It is a no-brainer.

It is cheaper for me as a farmer to buy a chicken from a shop than to keep my own for food. Perhaps if Ivan Smith had all South Africans’ interests at heart he would buy only South African products and not support the Brazilians, Chinese etc. The next time Ivan buys that cheap imported mutton, here is something to think about. I once helped in a customs inspection of lamb imported from Ireland and was disgusted that our shops could import and sell this frozen three-year-old meat to consumers.

Perhaps the general public should realise they are South African, get some balls and stop buying these imports or supporting Shell when it is going to frack the Karoo. And believe me it will, unless it realises that to do so is not in its interest. Instead, people write to a respected magazine with downright stupid, ignorant comments.

How can I express the above comments? Because I “have the T-shirts”, so to speak. I have been in the police, the traffic inspectorate, a group training manager, a personnel manager, a director for two companies and am now a proud farmer. Not bad, even without matric.