Farmers keep their farms tidy so road users should keep the roadside tidy as well, writes Federated Farmers Otago Provincial President Simon Davies.

When driving along a country road have you ever thought that you are looking through the backyard, front yard, and office of many farming businesses?

Farmers are acutely aware that their farm, farming ability and farm quality is on show to whoever wishes to look out of a car window. I know I spend most of my time in a car looking out the window, all of it looking over the fence, possibly a little too much while driving - well according to my wife anyway.

How would you feel if your backyard or office was in full view of the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week?


I know that feeling ... we farm on a secondary route between Milton to Balclutha, and while not a state highway, we still see plenty of traffic. Needless to say, I do try to keep my farm tidy.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

So it is rather frustrating that while I can keep the farm tidy the same cannot be said for the roadside.

Between the boundary points of our property, approximately 10km, the average weekly pickup of public generated rubbish along the road is three dozen beer bottles, often the boxes as well, the rubbish from two takeaway dinners, a couple of coffee cups and energy drink cans.

Given we are at least an hour's drive from the nearest golden arches outlet I find it amazing how regularly we pick up their branded rubbish. There is more than just a chance that those responsible have driven past a rubbish can, or five, before casually throwing the packaging out of the window.

With regard to beer bottles, I wish I could actually see someone throw their beer bottles away. I would get great satisfaction being able to return their bottles to them – even return the bottles to their front drive because it's all about convenience? Right? If the bottles were to break on the ground while I was returning them that would be unfortunate.

So next time you are driving in the countryside remember this is someone's front or back yard, admire it, envy it, and think about the effort that has gone into presenting it as you see it. Farmers are house-proud.