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Dannevirke farmers Dennis Gloyn and Anita Lamb love working together and on Saturday their partnership will feature on TV One's Country Calendar.

The couple have forged a lifestyle in the hills east of Dannevirke near the Waihi Falls with top working dogs and horses. But what they cherish the most is the joy of working together.

"It's hard work, but we love it," Anita said.

However, Dennis knows not all women would enjoy the lifestyle.

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Dennis Gloyn (left) and Anita Lamb, Don Paulin, sound operator Country Calendar; Mary McFadzean from England who is working on the farm while on her OE and Celia Jaspers, Country Calendar director.
Dennis Gloyn (left) and Anita Lamb, Don Paulin, sound operator Country Calendar; Mary McFadzean from England who is working on the farm while on her OE and Celia Jaspers, Country Calendar director.

"I'm lucky to have struck someone like Anita," he said.

The couple farm at Triple Springs Farm where they combine their love of the land with a horse stud, breeding and training horses for farm work, polo crosse and endurance riding.

"I think Country Calendar looked for diversity which makes for a interesting programme," Anita told the Dannevirke News.

"Yes, we were a bit nervous when approached, but after a two-hour phone interview, director Celia Jasper came to meet us. She was fantastic, so personable which put us at ease."

The Country Calendar team spent five days filming for the 30-minute episode which screens this Saturday on TV One at 7pm.

"We're thrilled other locals had a chance to appear too, Dannevirke Carriers and students from Weber School," Anita said. "And the film crew went to the Dannevirke Saleyards where they put up a drone to capture footage and interviewed PGG Wrightsons auctioneer Dean Lindsay."

Country Calendar director, Celia Jaspers, told the Dannevirke News, Anita and Dennis' story has broad appeal for viewers.

"We discovered the story a few years ago from Anita's endurance riding success," she said.

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"The dual farming story of their stock work and farming business combined with their shared love of horses and breeding them for three different purposes was interesting and unique. And the dog work they take such pride in was interesting to showcase. The farm has amazing views and panorama from up near Mt Oporae and it was great to explore that part of the southern Hawke's Bay area and show it to wider New Zealand.

"Dennis and Anita are very true blue Kiwis (Anita's an honorary Kiwi from Australia) and while they graft out a living on the land, they're also doing something they love at the same time - very inspirational for the wide audience Country Calendar attracts."

Celia said Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa has had a strong number of stories in this year's series.

"We've had no trouble sourcing good yarns in idyllic locations."

Working the stock at Triple Springs Farm, east of Dannevirke.
Working the stock at Triple Springs Farm, east of Dannevirke.

Anita has also combined her love of the land and animals with storytelling, writing children's books. Her first book, Ebony and the Man in the Big Blue Overalls, was inspired by Dennis' rescue of a black calf.

She's gone on to write other true stories and her books are available online and in Dannevirke's Foster Brook.

And while Anita admits marketing of her books, "hit a bit of a flat patch", now a United States television network has plans to animate them to create a new television series.

"Out of the blue I had a guy in the States with a publishing background pick up Ebony and the Man in the Big Blue Overalls and then reach out to animators in New York," she said. "It's very exciting but it could be another six to 12-months before we know if its taken off."

As part of the animation, the book is being relaunched, with improved illustrations.

"People in the States are all very excited because they love true stories with moral integrity," Anita said.

"Stories with good values, which unite families and are uplifting and joyful they say are refreshing."

Anita's background as an organic chemist and calculus lecturer means she has the skills to run the farm business, but she said she's still learning from Dennis' understanding of horses and dogs.

"Our strengths complement each other very well."

Fast facts:

* Country Calendar is in its 50th season and screens on TV One at 7pm on Saturday, attracting approximately 500,000 viewers.

* Director Celia Jasper has been with the show for two years. She runs an intensive sheep and beef fattening and mixed crop farm on 330ha near Martinborough and is the only Country Calendar crew member farming.