Waitomo News : 18 January Farmer 2018
NKC Farmer Thursday, January 18, 2018 7 NEED TO ? Break Up concepts 4.indd 2 5/07/17 5:45 PM Otorohonda 6 Te Kanawa Street, Otorohanga 07 873 7273 Honda First 35 Hakiaha Street, Taumarunui 07 895 8110 King Country Honda 33 Moa Street, Piopio 07 877 8054 • 4.95% interest per annum offer: minimum deposit may apply, payments over 24 months. May require GST to be paid in first three months. Other credit, account opening and eligibility criteria, terms and conditions and fees and charges apply and are subject to change from time to time. Finance products are only available to approved customers for business purposes. Available on selected ATV and Pioneer models. At participating authorised Honda dealers only. Standard warranty conditions apply. Available while stocks last. from page 6 “Previous to me physically breaking down there’d been a whole lot of stuff that had happened, and I hadn’t really acknowledged the depth of how it had affected me.” In the five years before her burnout, her father had died and her eld- est child had moved out of home, on top of the stress of running a farm through traumatic times like drought. NEW PASSION Wendy says she began thinking about her next steps and decided to release her unacknowledged creativity through classical singing – something she’d always yearned to do. She discovered Otorohanga singing tutor Beatrice Hofer and hasn’t looked back. “I really love it. It’s very soul fulfilling. “When I started singing it made me take a day off each week from the farm. “So instead of being very identified with what was going on here and almost burying myself in the work because there’s always work to do, it meant that there was a definite day [off ] every week and that was really good for me.” She says it’s “really nurturing” to take a day off for yourself and do something you love. “We [women] are so busy nurturing our communities and our children and our businesses and our husbands that we often put ourselves last. “I guess that’s the kind of thing that I would really love to see change. I think women often look at nurturing activities as selfish. NURUTRE YOURSELF “I would really like to lead a change in women’s thinking. If we don’t nurture ourselves how are we supposed to nurture everyone else.” Although Wendy says she doesn’t have back pain any more, emotional problems do still trigger it. “It’s so easy to recognise.” When it happens, she takes herself away and has time on her own using her journaling skills to express herself. “I’m not afraid of tears anymore because tears to me are just emotions being released.” She talks about confronting emotions, sitting with them and being “friends” with them. Wendy has redefined what she considers work, which was pretty much everything in her life up until her burnout. “Often women go it’s not work because it’s not making money but what it is, is binding the family and it’s crucial to the operation of the whole family working.” She knows she has a choice now whether she fills her day up with chores and then falls into bed absolutely exhausted at night or decides not to. DREAM JOB And now she also has the job she dreamed of – a contractor to the Agri-Women’s Develop- ment Trust delivering the Understanding Your Farming Business four-month course. “It’s a wonderful course because what we do is grow women’s confidence around their farming businesses. “I’ve seen amazing change in women just being able to feel that they can really engage. Often women feel very on the outer of a farming business. “ This gives them the tools and the confidence.” The course, which is face-to-face, is held throughout the country, with participants meeting once a month for training. “I’m just really excited to take the knowledge I have and the experiences I’ve had and be able to make a difference in women’s lives. “It’s a privilege to watch women grow and change and it’s making a mas- sive difference in farming business across the New Zealand.” The Agri-Women’s Development Trust wants to deliver the free course, sponsored by the Red Meat Profit Partnership, to 500 women in 2018. Now Wendy has shared her story through Farmstrong, work is going on behind the scenes so the initiative targets women too. “At the moment, they have a lot of resources online that you can have a look at, but we’re not sure whether we’re going to do something different. “I’m excited to be in that creative space with them. “Watch this space!” “I would really like to lead a change in women’s thinking.” SMALL movements in livestock numbers in the year to June 2017 may indicate New Zea- land agriculture is reaching herd equilibrium. Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis say figures from Statistics New Zealand’s 2017 agricultural production census show dairy cattle numbers dropped 2% from 6.6 million to 6.5 million in the 12-month period. The dairy cattle count has been largely stable since 2012. Chris says:“Farmers have a strong and increasing focus on sustainability and further improving their environmental footprint, and that is translating into maintaining or reducing dairy cattle numbers and instead looking for gains by boosting production per head. “Despite falls in herd numbers, DairyNZ data shows production per cow in 2016/17 set a new record, increasing by nine kilograms of milk solids per cow to 381 kilograms.” And it’s not just about volume, but value too, he says. The sector has successfully grown the share of milk being further processed into specialty or consumer products to 40% of total output. Chris says: “Finetuning our businesses for the best results for staff, our animals and the environment is a constant. We’re continuing to get more out of the cows we have got, and we’re increasing the premium we earn in ex- port dollars for New Zealand by more added value products.” The animal census shows cattle numbers in- creased for the first time in more than 10 years, from 3.5 million in 2016 to 3.6 million this year. Sheep numbers eased 1% to 27.4 million. Herd equilibrium being achieved?
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23 January 2018