Gender inequality and who inherits the family farm

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Katherine Bain – Her father says passion, not gender, will be the deciding factor in who takes over the running of the farm.

I have always being proud to say I stand up for what I believe in but when I was approached about this story No country for women: family farms are tough soil for daughters to grow as farmers I ran a hundred miles in the other direction

It was just too close to the bone – from as early as we can remember my sister and I were told my brother would inherit the family farm.

A – because he was male and B because the family surname was the legacy he furthered

In my case despite my brother being an extremely nice person, the fact that he thought he was “entitled” because of A and B effectively destroyed our adult relationship

Super kudos to The Age journalist Neelima Choahan for being dogged in her determination to tell this story 

Quoting from the story in The Age

According to University of South Australia’s Leonnie Blumson​, who is doing a PhD in gender inequality in farming family inheritance, there is a huge disparity in the way sons and daughters are treated.

She says in Australia it is estimated that just 10 per cent of farm successors are daughters.

“It makes the gender wage gap look pretty trivial in comparison,” Ms Blumson says.

“Essentially, sons get the farm, which can be worth millions of dollars, whereas girls tend to just get whatever assets are leftover when the parents die.”

Ms Blumson, who is herself from a farming family, says most farmers are likely to sell the farm if they have a daughter.

As part of her research, Ms Blumson conducted interviews and an anonymous online survey asking farmers’ daughters to talk about their family’s inheritance.

She says one of the hardest things was to get the women to participate. Similarly, few women were willing to speak to The Age about their experience. None would do it on the record.

Ms Blumson says family loyalty often stops women from talking about the gender imbalance.

“Women are conditioned to accept things the way they are and not to speak out,” she says.

“And also speaking out would require them to acknowledge that they have been treated unfairly.”

And mega kudos to the Bain family for being the face of this story – its changemakers like you that ensure my sister and I are an anomaly of the future

“I have grown up on the farm my whole life,” Ms Bain says.

“Helping out dad on the farm and just running around after him, being a shadow for the last 20 years.”

Her role grew from being the main gate opener for her father to helping him muster sheep and move them around.

Her father says passion, not gender, will be the deciding factor in who takes over the running of the farm.

“Katherine was always interested in being outdoors,” Mr Bain says.

“She always had a good eye for livestock, she could pick up a sick sheep in a mob.

“She has always been one-track minded. She wanted to do something in agriculture even when she was quite young. Which path she takes now is up to her.”

When Ms Bain finishes her Bachelor of Business in Agribusiness at the end of this year she will also have a grounding in finance and marketing.

“Every farm is a business,” she says.  “Learning … the ins and out of business, is vital to running a farm.”

Her younger brother, Alexander, 21, is studying architecture.

And though, there is no succession plan in place yet, Ms Bain says it has always been clear which one of the two siblings is more interested in farming.

“I was always the one really excited to go out and help dad from early on,” she says. “Never thought about being anywhere else.

“When you are growing up on the farm you are always outside helping out, you do get dirt in your blood and it does kind of stick with you and you really don’t think about anything else you could do.”

ur generation is better placed to achieve gender equality than any other in the history of humanity. This is our opportunity to grasp, our campaign to join and it is our fight t

You can read more about Katherine here 

More on succession planning

Succession planning – the good the bad and the ugly 

I am not just lucky but I may be seriously out of touch – but so what

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2018 sees me doing something I thought I would never do and that is read more non-fiction than fiction

At the top of the list is sitting the Self Help Genre.

To date Legacy – What the All Blacks can teach us about the Business of Life by James Kerr has been by the far the most thought provoking read I have had in a long time.

But I am a bit concerned about my lack of diversity of general knowledge. Does it make me a heathen that I have never heard of Richie McCaw before I read this book. Truth be told the only All Black I could name is Jonah Lomu. I did however know that Nick Far-Jones was a Wallaby when this story Wallaby legend Nick Farr-Jones could have faced one of his most elusive opponents in the early hours of Monday morning.popped onto my radar.

Today’s read was Not Just Lucky by Jamila Rizvi 

When I read this comment “Parents, who have spent significant time and sometimes money in their child’s education, want to be assured of a return on investment. They want to be told that their baby done good. To feel secure in the knowledge that a suburban brick house, the latest model Lexus and a Thermomix lie in their kid’s future.”

‘Thermomix’ oh my god what is that???  Is that why I didn’t win the Mother of the Year Award.  All good mothers apparently know that a Thermomix is a kitchen gadget –  that is not only a food-processor but one that also, weighs, cooks, chops, crushes, emulsifies, whips, mixes, steams, blends, kneads, grinds simmers, grates and mills.  Just how have a lived without one let alone had a lifetime payment plan to ensure the child had one ?

But worse still I hadn’t heard of the UpTalk and  Vocal Fry Epidemic  OMG to the Power of 10. How had I not heard of this? Am I guilty? Do I talk like this ?  Note rising inflection

On the positive side Professor Google is a power of knowledge and the diversity of my knowledge is certainly growing. I cant see myself ever having any desire to be able to recite every name in All Blacks line-up but I wont be forgetting the name of  most capped test rugby player of all time. See footnote

Jamila Rizvi hasn’t inadvertently destroyed my confidence as a conversationalist. In fact I am sitting in the front carriage of the train with her cheering when she says

Our generation is better placed to achieve gender equality than any other in the history of humanity. This is our opportunity to grasp, our campaign to join and it is our fight to be won. So get out there. Show the world your best, be confident and claim your achievements as your own. I’ll be right here, cheering you on from the sidelines. Because you’re not just lucky, you’re brilliant.

Footnote

For those of you Rugby Tragics who think I must be from Mars if I haven;t heard of Richie McCaw I now have no shortage of people on my team who can keep me informed. Special shoutout to Mandy McKeesick – who married the enemy . Another testimonial to the wisdom of surrounding yourself with the expertise you don’t have

Third Grade Hamstring tear – 12 months down the track

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This post delivers the third installment in my earlier promise to share my hamstring avulsion ( third grade hamstring tear) conservative treatment recovery journey.

See previous posts here

My third grade hamstring injury – a right pain in the butt 

My third grade hamstring tear – ham off the bone update

Third grade hamstring tears are classified as both ‘rare and serious’. Dr Google was an invaluable source of information and advice  when I found myself both  ‘rare and serious’ and potentially looking at a very nasty operation. It gives me great pleasure to bring you up to date at the almost 12 months post injury date

In my case conservative treatment appears to be a resounding success. I put this down to getting the best medical advice and rehabilitation specialists and being bloody determined

Bloody determined currently involves

  1. Four hours walking per week
  2. Six to eight hours of fully supervised Gym classes per week which include
    1. Weights
    2. Functional training
    3. Fitball with weights
    4. Balance classes
    5. Pilates stretch
    6. Pilates – my goodness you can even do Pilates with weights
  3. Regular Dr visits
  4. Power of Positive Thinking
  5. Rest and Relaxation

I have gone from being unfit to overexercising without advice ( leading to hamstring avulsion) to being fit and able to do almost anything (if I master the technique and that is one of the reasons you need supervision). Balance remains my one sticking point –  Its about one leg learning to trust the other can hold me up – its a mental thing I am working on

Mental as well as physical health also plays a big part in your ability to stay resilient.

I found the whole experience pretty unnerving from living in a house unsuitable for people with partial disabilities, the severe restriction on activities you can undertake and the isolation of living in the country.

I have renovated my house, grown my network of genuine friends and found other ways to do the things I love. For example I have a beautiful garden but was restricted with what I can actually achieve in it since I had a quad bike accident in 2008.

When I decided to renovate my house to accommodate a short term disabled person I also revisited how I could garden with a dodgy back.

When my original fern house was blown over in a storm the opportunity to build ‘The Orchid Palace’ was born. Its amazing what you can do with re-purposed doors and windows

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   My orchids are flourishing in their new home and they are giving me great joy 

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The Orchid Palace upgrade also allowed me to remodel the Poultry Palace

These little cuties know how to make me smile 

I have learnt the hard way like physical fitness, mental toughness is the result of a long-term conditioning programme – you can never be too prepared.

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Taking the country experience to the gym

The 6 am fit-ball class at the gym scored the full country smell experience this morning.

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My gym shoes this morning – not a pretty sight let alone the odour they gave off 

Aaah the joys of sharing the road with 300 cows ambling ( as they should) in front or your car  and then having to get out and open the gate.

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The joys of sharing your ingress and egress with the dairy cows

What a shame the people at the gym don’t get to see the many, many benefits of the country experience as often as I do

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What a magnificent sight 

#lifeoflynne #lovewhereIlive

Is the Mean Mob Mentality out of control

Following on from my blog post yesterday lauding the #stopbullying and #doitforDolly campaigns my attention has been drawn to the beyond bizarre social media bullying of  daughter of the hero of this perfectly harmless and highly amusing good news story from The Land senior journalist Alex Druce.  Check it out and decide for yourself. ‘Give me the bloody chicken’: ‘Hero’ dad thwarts chook thief outside Coles .

My source tells me the bullying got so bad the young lady shut down her Facebook page

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Quoting nineteenth-century chemist Ellen Swallow Richards

‘The environment that people live in, is the environment they learn to live in, respect and perpetuate.’ 

I pose the questions.

  1. Has the Mean Mob Mentality got out of control and if the answer is yes how do we all learn to be nice to each other?
  2. Has the support system failed our fellow man/woman doing it tough that their only option is to steal food?
  3. Do we need to rethink the environment we are cultivating with our PhD’s in Judgment and Expertise in everything and anything?

 

 

 

 

 

 

#stopbullying – The Mean Mob Mentality and how do we deal with it.

#stopbullying and #doitforDolly are currently trending and could there be a better cause.

Hashtags can be extraordinarily powerful in addressing the social media Mean Mob Mentality. All Australians saw the power of #illridewithyou after the Lindt Seige 

Humans are unique in that we are the only animals that can conceptualize and think about ourselves abstractly. We are blessed with the ability to imagine ourselves in hypothetical situations and contemplate the impact our actions have on others.  Yet in the word of Charles Bubowski “We are terrorized and flattened by life’s trivialities: we are eaten up by nothing. ‘We are all going to die- what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t.

Take care of one another

I was never bullied as a child and didn’t experience it until I joined Twitter. But I am not blaming Twitter. It’s not Twitter that’s the problem, it’s the bullies and the mean mob mentality it attracts.

So how do we as individuals and as a collaborative collective do our bit to limit the damage it does and gain emotional resilience for ourselves and those around us. How do we reframe the experience, so it affects us less? How do we help young people embrace the mantra “The more I peer into the darkness, the brighter life gets, the quieter the world becomes, and the less unconscious resistance I feel to, well anything” and stay emotionally resilient?

My experience showed me

  1. Bullies will never go away. They don’t think they are doing anything wrong. They think it is their right to express their opinion no matter how hurtful it may be to others
  2. Bullies attract followers. I don’t understand the Mean Mob Mentality followers. Perhaps in my case they were people who didn’t like me or what I stand for and saw it as a way of telling me very publicly.
  3. Your social media supporters can be a lot smarter than you. They don’t engage the bullies. They start their own hashtag. In my case it was #strongwomen

Some strategies I have include:

  1. I cultivate healthy, genuine friendships. People who care about me. People who don’t judge me. People who support me
  2. I have some great mentors. Professionals whose career journey gives them the expertise to support and advise me
  3. I read great books that help put it all into perspective and embrace it.

Some wise words I have drawn inspiration from

  1. Legacy – The Story of the All Blacks by James Kerr
  2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  3. Composure by Zoë Routh
  4. Moments by Zoë Routh

I have a mentor who told me that the higher profile you get, the more polarising you will become. Expect half the audience to love you, half the audience to hate you. In the end it is about them, what you trigger in them, that is causing the emotional reaction. Keep showing up in service and sharing.

This is the challenge that the #stopbullying and #doitforDolly campaigns are tackling They are sending a strong message around the world that many, many people are putting their hands up to be part of the solution. Well done , what a great legacy you are leaving – I am barracking for you

and remember

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If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide get help immediately. Choose life  Call Lifeline 13 11 14 or 000 if life is in danger.

 

New Years Day 2018 and the year of Courage

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From me to everyone. Happy always and in the spirit of new beginnings

“We will open the journal. The pages are blank. We are going to put the words on them ourselves.”  My journal is called Courage and its first chapter is New Years Day

 

According to this article in Huffington Post and every leadership coach I know journaling is the latest scientifically proven therapy for Happiness. 

There’s a strong connection between happiness and mindfulness. Journaling brings you into that state of mindfulness; past frustrations and future anxieties lose their edge in the present moment.  It calls a wandering mind to attention, from passivity to actively engaging with your thoughts.

Journaling often includes your dreams and ambitions, yet the idea that scribbled words can help achieve goals is understandably fanciful. But consider building a house without a blueprint. That makes more sense.

and its good Brain Food 

Writing goals signals to your brain “this is important.” Your reticular activating system (RAS) then flags relevant opportunities and tools to achieve that goal. More detailed goals provide a psychological blueprint, and increases the likelihood of achieving them.

There’s a unique relationship between the hand and brain, sparked by the composition of thoughts and ideas. Words are representations of ideas; the formation of letters and causes the mind to compose or re-compose ideas while journaling. This strengthens previously covered information and forces you to engage in cognitive recall.

and its good for your Heart 

Being able to get on the same page with someone is a mark of emotional intelligence, and allows for a much deeper connection. Journaling is an outlet for processing emotions and increases self-awareness. This internal familiarity becomes a bridge of empathy, you’ll better intuit and understand what others are experiencing.

 and inspires you to clean your House

Setting time aside to write, whether morning or evening, is an act of discipline. And discipline begets discipline. Like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. And habits formed in one area of life have a tendency to spread; as keeping your office clean leads to keeping the bedroom tidy, your daily practice of writing will domino onto other healthy habits.

 

and its good for your Soul 

Expressive writing is a route to healing — emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Dr. James Pennebaker, author of  Writing to Heal has seen improved immune function in participants of writing exercises. Stress often comes from emotional blockages, and overthinking hypotheticals. He explains, “When we translate an experience into language we essentially make the experience graspable.” And in doing so, you free yourself from mentally being tangled in traumas. Studies have also shown that the emotional release from journaling lowers anxiety, stress, and induces better sleep.

and sparks your Creativity

Julia Cameron’s “Morning Pages” has become the panacea for unlocking creativity amongst anyone and everyone. Our struggle isn’t whether we’re creative, it’s how to let it flow. Her powerful tool is simply to write without thinking — “stream of consciousness” writing. Beyond overcoming writer’s block, stream of consciousness writing brings out thoughts and ideas you never knew you had in you, and loosens up your expressive muscles. She recommends three pages, done first thing in the morning. Including even one page as part of your journaling will get your creative juices flowing.

and builds your Self-Confidence

Journaling about a positive experience allows your brain to relive it. And reaffirms your abilities when the ugly head of self-doubt appears. The release of endorphins and dopamine will boost your self-esteem and mood. These reflections can become a catalog of personal achievements that you continue to go back to.

As you work to incorporate journaling into your life, remember the elephant is best eaten one bite at a time. Patience and consistency are crucial in forming new habits. Begin writing perhaps three days a week, first thing in the morning or before sleeping.

Look forward to you sharing with me what your 2018 journal is called.

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HT to Edith Lovejoy Pierce for giving me the opportunity to paraphrase her words