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Working for free
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Posted 1/7/2019 18:14 (#7227611)
Subject: Working for free

Hi all, this is my first post here, i have followed on here for a long time and just would like to say you all seem like a class act and through reading a lot of the posts here alone I have come to gain a lot of respect for the opinions and wisdom of people on here, so I’ll ask you all a question that always bothers me in the back of my mind. My father and I farm together, we are a very small farm by today’s standards at 500 acres (own 2/3) and we finish 80-120 beef cattle per year. We also both work off the farm in construction trades. I am a heavy equipment mechanic by trade. I have been fortunate and found a good position in the company I work for and I am what I feel very well compensated for my time at work. I am also very blessed to have a wife who works a good job. We do well but as I suppose the human condition dictates, could be better. I currently do not farm any acres on my own. I really have no stake in this business at this point other than my investment of time and the “promise” of my inheritance. I’m 26 and have started my own family. The current situation between my father and I is: I work for free. Not cheap, not gives me this or that in exchange for help. I work for 0 dollars and 0 cents a year. He gave me a couple acres to build a house a few years ago. He offered the same deal to all us kids even though I’m the only one who took it, I’m the only one who has anything to do with the farm, so I can hardly look at that as a compensation for my work but I’d be a fool to think that he doesn’t view that as part of my salary. And this is not a situation where I go run trucks for dad at harvest a few hours a year to help out, I take days, weeks off of work to get the through the acres. We bought a newer combine 6 years ago and I’d say conservatively I’ve put 95% of the seat time on it. I plant all the beans, a lot of the corn, and I work all the ground. I help him with paperwork in the winter. Being a heavy equipment mechanic I haven’t seen my dad pick up a wrench since I was about 16 I do all maintenance and repairs. I not only work for free but most of the time it is a hassle to even get paid back for purchases I make for the farm bought at my company discount. My dad is not an easy person to get along with for anyone and to say is not well liked by most in the community would probably be giving him credit. and like most I do not see eye to eye or have a good relationship to begin with and really farming together is the only thing that allows us to have any. I have sisters and am the only son. On the rare occasion that I bring it up (about twice in the last 5 years) after I get done being yelled at and told the farms in such a dire financial circumstance that if he were to give me a load of corn that we’d have to put the auction sign up tomorrow (he’s not rolling in money but his working capital increases every year, has about a 5 percent liability to asset ratio, and they still manage to go on a couple vacations a year, so simply not true) his response following that is always “the land and equipment is all being willed to you, I don’t know what more you could ask for” he’s at retirement age and I can understand working two jobs has weighed it’s toll, but any time I ever threaten to just let him do it himself if he can’t figure out a way to compensate me for my time he tells me if I’m not there tomorrow he will have it rented out by tomorrow night and will tear the will up. I take money off my families table to put it on his by taking time off work or reducing my hours even on a daily basis. I guess my question here is, at what point do I call his bluff, throw in the towel completely, or just keep eating crow? Thank you all
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