The last SHEPHERD-Petar Gojka, Straža: Traditions that are dying out, there is no one to work, and the state is making a mistake HERE

We found Gojka this day after a rainy morning. He has 150 sheep here, and he has another pack with the same number. He uses these pastures here around the village of Straža. This gives rationality and makes this job cheaper. And in the winter they eat fine, corn, then alfalfa, clover, straw, everything.

What breeds are grown at Straž?

Here there is something mixed with pramenka and or de france, and they are not subject to subsidies, so it is as if they are not counted as sheep.

The sheep that carry subsidies are il de frans, cigaja and this vinterberg.

Gojka has to see how to make money without subsidies.

Gojka participated in the Novi Sad Fair for many years and won important prizes there every year.

Petar Gojka shepherd

He won awards for 15 years. I had a 180 kilo champion as a prize every year and on the ram option. These here were around 120, 130 kilos.

We asked him what is his secret?

Well, it’s no secret.

How others can become record holders.

Ah, now there are no more, hardly anyone has any now who keeps cigarettes.

Petar Gojka, guard, shepherd

He is holding a lamb and there is milk. He sells sheep’s milk, the buyer is Mlekoprodukt Zrenjanin and says that he can find a market.

He can sell it, since here in the village, no one milks anymore and there are no sheep, only he.

Now I have to ask you, since you know for sure that there is a big crisis in animal husbandry and that producers of cow’s milk have big misunderstandings and problems.

And there is also the case with sheep, we are in the same situation.

Here is the subsidy for lambs, until last year they gave us 2,000 dinars for lambs.

Until now, the Ministry has not received this subsidy since last year.

Now I sold a list of lambs for before Easter, they went to Albania.

So he is going abroad, but that needs to be resolved again, to get the papers to submit to the Ministry, but I will get the money for that only next year.

And who will endure all that until the money arrives?

And we don’t know how the state thinks about us today, but by God it doesn’t think about us, it doesn’t care much.

Let me ask you this now, when it comes to husbanding the sheep, do you do it yourself?

petar gojka guard sheep farming

Me and my son, the two of us.

The wife has to force her. We don’t have milking machines, they do everything by hand, for at least an hour and a half, maybe stronger milking goes.

And now when I looked at the prices, piglets were more expensive than lambs, piglets were 500, and lambs 350. That never happened.

Is there perhaps a greater interest in people buying lamb now?

Well, they buy, they buy, we have this Đurđević and Trlić, they are the ones who have a slaughterhouse, they are the buyers.

You said earlier that you had a cigarette, why are you giving it up?

Well, because of kinship. They did not have good breeding rams. In fact we had, but it all went in a circle. And the lamb was not cooked properly. So there was no offspring.

Well, it didn’t matter, they were soft, they don’t suck, and there is no problem with these lambs, they can lamb in the snow during the winter, they don’t lack anything. There are no health problems with sheep.

And here is quality grazing on these grasslands?

It goes, that other pack was there all winter, even when there was snow. Okay, now this year there wasn’t that snow, so they were outside, outside, nonstop. And there is no illness or death.

Now, what would you, as someone who lives from this business and has a lot of experience, say to a young man, what should he do, and that is agriculture?

Certainly not livestock farming, especially these young people, it’s hard to find.

Hardly here, especially in the village, you can’t find one worker to help you, they won’t. No one will, you can offer them a daily wage as much as they want. People here live on social welfare. So it is better for them to live modestly, but not to do anything.

Lately it’s coming, so the village is not your recommendation for anyone?

Well, there are a lot of young people in our country, I’m not saying that there aren’t any, but what they do is in the field, that is, in the economy, but also animal husbandry is difficult.

And what kind of work is shepherding, when a man looks at it, he would say it’s like lying down, resting, and that.

You really have to and you need it every day, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or it’s sunny or whatever, you have to be there for the livestock, there are no holidays.

What can I tell you, it’s not a great situation, but I can wish you to fight and somehow maintain that tradition as much as you can.

Father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-grandfather, maybe the son will continue a bit, and I have been with sheep since I was a child, I work the land and cattle and food for cattle.

Source: Agromedia by

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