Ranchers and Farmers

Table of contents


Ranchers and Farmers make up much of the population of the Countryside; these are the people who grow food for those who live in the Turritella, as well as those who live on the surface, as well as raising and training the beasts that serve as transportation and entertainment. Generally these people live simple lives, and work off of barter or promises. Ranch hands or temporary workers on farms are usually paid in food and lodging, with some limited coinage to serve as supplement and severance pay when the season's over. Long-term workers are usually lifers, and frequently family — so their payment is part ownership and a share of the profits, or perhaps the promise of inheritance in the future.

Some of the farms are huge, selling enough food to afford many part-timers or even full-time employees. Others are small, family-run operations that barely operate hand to mouth and which are occasionally bought out and scarfed up by bigger, better-off families or groups.

Most of the ranches have already been united, but in a different way: more along the lines of franchises, set up so that a tidy sum of money might get you what you need to breed, and part of your profits from there on out go to the ranch that started you off.

Most Ranchers and Farmers were born into their careers, either into a well-off family owning property or the children of migrant hands who help out where they're needed. Very few city folk are willing to take on the back-breaking [but satisfying, some would argue] labor that's required to be a success in the Countryside.

Motivations

Most of these people dream of having their own farm, or getting their hands on a breeding stud — but realistically, their motivation is to work hard, get enough money to support their families, and perhaps to get a little time off to rest and recover. Ideally, they will teach their children to take over, treat them well, and be supported in their old age.

The wealthier landowners seem to be working toward conglomeration. Richard Ellis? is a prime example of this. The Ellis family started with one small farm about five generations ago, but over the years have slowly acquired failing businesses. Now they have two very large farms and fund a handful of small ranchers working to start their own places. This has made them wealthy enough, for a farming family, that Richard and his wife have a 'vacation home' in Kaipalu and are able to slip away for weeks here and there instead of being caught up in constant work.

Appearance

Like the working class?, ranchers and farmers dress simply — though in their case, it's more for the sake of keeping clean and the ease of washing clothing than anything else. Most of the cloth is homespun and rough, very little of it is white since white shows the dirt so well, and all of the fit and design is made for comfort.

However, in the Countryside ponchos are also common wear, as well as very wide-brimmed hats to keep off the light of day. Among ranchers and rodeo riders, leather is much more common than it is among the more 'civilized' people of Kaipalu. Chaps are worn to protect legs from the chafing of horseback riding, boots are common and designed to sit in a stirrup. Clothing is sturdier, to endure weather and use.