Regan Tucker turned to country music to combat the lows of the dairy downturn.
And now he's released three albums, won an artist award and sung before thousands of people.
Mr Tucker was raised in Te Awamutu and attended Otorohanga College. His parents farmed in Ngahape and he grew up listening to Cliff Richard.
As a young adult Mr Tucker moved to Tasmania to run a farm.
"It was a dream come true."
But eventually the droughts and downturn forced him to sell up.
"I came back to New Zealand with my tail between my legs."
He now runs a lawn mowing business based in Te Awamutu.
During the dairy downturn he saw other farmers suffer from depression and take their lives. But Mr Tucker turned to country music.
He says his music has a powerful effect of farmers.
"Farmers would call me up and say they needed to listen to my music. Music seems to be magic. It can lift people up."
Mr Tucker's first album, The River, had a song of the same name reach number 11 on the independent country music charts in America.
His second album produced two number one singles, How Long and Long Way to Go. He then won the Independent Music of America Impact of the Year Artist award.
His third album, Stone Cold Country Boy, has recently been released in Australia.
It features So Long, about saying goodbye to his farm. He says singing is his "release".
"Some people play rugby to deal with their emotions, but I sing."