Albert Einstein’s words ‘in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’ align well with our industry when you look at the resilient rural communities that surround us – this tends to shine through even more so during times of duress. Our small local community was fortunate enough (depending on the way that you look at it) to host a Rural Support Trust drought meeting last week. With emphasis on long term sustainable strategies and communication being the main tenants of the gathering. This was reinforced through the words of our North Otago Feds captain, Ross Ewing – emphasising that we must maintain a good rapport with friends, neighbours and colleagues in both good times and bad along with the importance of becoming involved and engaged in your wider community. The past two years have shown us that the traditional dry areas such as the east coast are certainly not alone – we have real sympathy for those areas that have been hit over this period that have not often been exposed to such conditions in the past. Once again during times of challenge, it is important to accentuate the positives – now being a perfect time to find long lost pocket knives and fencing tools out in the paddock, or simply go fishing for the day.
The Perendale Society of New Zealand celebrated their 50th anniversary in May and this occasion is momentous not only in regards to a milestone being reached in longevity – but more importantly in the advances that the society has made, especially over the past 18 months. The National Perendale Progeny Test commenced in April, which has the unique strength of over 28,000 SIL recorded and registered dam records behind it. An excellent example of a proactive team of sheep breeders working together for the national benefit of the industry, not just a trial that has been strengthened purely by a large and shiny marketing budget.
In March we welcomed Skyla, a highly capable high school student to the farm team for work experience one day a week and she will certainly get a number of lessons on ‘what not to do’ from Blair, especially when it comes to heading dog commands and general communication. It is heartening to once again see a young person that is passionate about agriculture with a hunger to learn and ask questions – and fostering these young people in a structured manner is something that we should encourage, just as the dairy industry has carried out in a most commendable manner over the past two decades.