Farmers Plow Ahead, With or Without the Promised Assistance of the Russian State

RUSSIA - A devastating fire, skyrocketing gasoline prices and the daily hardships of rural life would probably persuade any hardy farmer to hang up his sickle. Not Viktor Lomakin.
calendar icon 23 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The 54-year-old construction worker turned hog farmer says his indefatigable work ethic has sustained him since he started his farm in 1993. “The peasants never surrender!” he declared.

The government, which has embarked on a national project to revive the country’s agriculture sector, better hope there are more Lomakins out there.

To date, the agriculture project has been the toughest of the four projects — including health care, housing and education — to implement, a recent poll shows.

Lomakin, who recently secured a loan through the project, could be a poster boy for the national effort, with all his determination, earthiness and good cheer.

On a recent morning, the Vladimir region farmer stormed into his renovated pig barn, shouting, “Time to wake up, my beauties!”

Marching from one pen to the next, Lomakin made a point of checking on all his wards, from 15-day-old piglets to giant hogs. “I only feed them potatoes, whey, just the natural stuff. That’s why they are so pretty,” he yelled, as cranky pigs roused from their sleep began squealing uncontrollably.

A jokester full of energy and optimism, Lomakin takes care of his 450 hogs with the help of two grown sons and two hired hands at his farm, 190 kilometers east of Moscow.

Source: The St. Petersberg Times

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