Year in Review: This heartfelt social media post from Hawke's Bay farmer Sam Stoddart went viral in September. In it he pointed out the strong connections New Zealand farmers have with the communities around them. It was one of The Country's most popular reads of 2019.
In September Stoddart told The Country he was surprised by the strong reaction to his post, which at that point had nearly 6000 reactions and nearly 3000 shares.
"For a vent to mates out of frustration on Facebook it certainly has gained some momentum.
I can't believe the positive feedback though. For over 700 comments only about five are negative. Maybe the rural urban divide isn't as big as we think.
Maybe just too many negative people getting the media coverage and not enough positive stories getting out there".
Sam Stoddart's Facebook post:
Comment: As a farmer I rely on a few people.
I rely on casual labour to help with the busy times.
• Veterinarians to provide advice and assist with animal welfare.
• All the staff at the local farm merchandise stores to provide the materials required to run a farm.
I rely on the shearing gangs that turn up and shear my 8000 sheep every year.
I rely on bankers.
• Bull breeders.
• Ram breeders.
• Agronomists for advice on cropping and pasture renewal.
• Hay contractors to cut and bale the hay.
• Earthmoving contractors to improve farm infrastructure.
• Fencing crews.
I rely on the local motorbike dealerships for sales and service.
• The local tractor dealership to keep the tractors running.
• The local engineering businesses.
• The local vehicle service dealerships.
• The mail lady for rural delivery.
• And a lot of other small local businesses.
I rely on the forestry planting and pruning crews to tend to the trees.
• Helicopter pilots for weed and pest control.
• Possum control contractors to help with the NZ TB free goal.
• I rely on accountants.
• Fertiliser advisors.
• Topdressing pilots.
• Farm advisors.
• Trucking companies.
• All the staff at the abattoirs.
I rely on consumers to buy our naturally raised beef and lamb and environmentally friendly wool.
• The local community for when a beer and a catch up is needed to unwind.
But most of all I rely on my wife and family for support through the emotionally challenging times.
So to all the anti-farming campaigners and environmental warriors, remember your actions have far reaching implications. More than just the farmer.
Every human on this planet has an environmental impact, so stop blaming just the farmers and let's all work together to improve what we all do and reduce the impact.
To all the Kiwi farmers, remember you are the world's most efficient producers and that's something to be proud of.
Just a shame Jacinda and David can't see that.