Year in Review: Rural Raconteur Jim Hopkins usually adds a dose of levity to Monday on The Country radio show. However, in March he was fired up about the lack of respect for farmers saying "every attack on farming is an attack on our standard of living." Forget the Queen's Christmas message. This year check out Jim's message.

Listen to the interview in the video above.

Listen: Jim Hopkins - stop attacking rural New Zealand

The passing of Murray Ball has prompted Jim Hopkins to reminisce about the way New Zealanders used to feel about farming.


Ball's creations Wal and Dog were indicative of a time when the public regarded farmers in an affectionate manner says Hopkins.

Now times have changed and the perception of farming is at a worryingly low level.

Watch more: Why we should celebrate farmers

Jim believes this is down to lobbying from "angry groups", but also urban New Zealanders' romanticised view of agriculture. A view Hopkins says is often completely disengaged from the realities of the countryside.

Read more: Kerre McIvor - This month, tell a farmer you care

It's time we remind townies that "the heartland is actually the financial heartland as well" says Hopkins who believes if New Zealand disregards farming it will be a very poor country indeed.