Having expertise in farming and a passion for rodeo has led one Taieri farmer to turn his hand to breeding rodeo bulls.

James Adam owns a 594ha farm at Otokia, farming 40 beef cows, 2200 ewes and an assortment of rodeo bulls, and also has a dairy platform milking 540 heifers.

Mr Adam grew up in the area and the farm has been in the family since 1860, when his grandfather William bought it.

Mr Adam and wife Lesleyanne have three children, Josh, who runs the sheep side of things on the farm, Gina, a teacher, and Ryan, an engineer.


Alongside farming, Mr Adam has always had a big interest in rodeo.

''I used to torment my grandmother that I was going to be a cowboy; there's just something in it.''

Although he has never competed at rodeos himself, his family have followed them over the years.

He is the riding event director of the Outram rodeo and is on the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association.

About 10 years ago, Mr Adams started breeding his own rodeo bulls with Daniel Nichol, forming D&J Bucking Bulls.

Originally they started breeding them from a jersey cow ''because they have a bit of attitude'' and Brahman semen imported from Australia.

They have built up their herd over the years and now have 62 bulls and are also importing semen from America.

Labour Weekend marks the start of the rodeo season, when Mr Adams will spend plenty of hours on the road as he carts the bulls to rodeos throughout the lower South Island.


''It's real good fun.''

He said although the rodeo bulls were ''bred to buck'', they were generally pretty quiet and would be brought into the yards often to keep them quiet and used to people.

Not only did carting bulls around get Mr Adam on the road, but he also had been a relief driver for Allied Concrete for over 20 years.

He said the highlight of his farming career was when he went to Australia in 2007-08 and worked on a farm in Kimberley, Western Australia.

''The scale of farming over there was just amazing.''

Mr Adam said the hill block of their farm was for sale and he had plans to move somewhere more central to winter the dairy cows.

He said the low-lying nature of their dairy farm meant every time there was a heavy rain, it would flood.

''It's a bit of a battle.''

However, they had recently installed a new feed pad, built above the flood level, for when there was heavy rain.

Mr Adam believed there was a good future in farming and hoped compliance would become more controlled.

''Some people say farming's not sustainable ... well, we've been here for a long time and we're still here.''

- Southern Rural Life