Marlborough farmer Doug Avery had already faced more than his fair share of difficult times when successive droughts through the 1980s and 90s struck.
It got so bad that he hated to go outside and despair turned to depression. He treated that with alcohol and anger, neither of which helped.
The turning point was a meeting addressed by Lincoln University professor Derrick Moot.
Doug became a convert to lucerne and started working with the environment rather than against it.
He not only turned himself and his farm around, he used what he learned to help others become more resilient on their farms, in their businesses and their lives.
He’s told his story to many different audiences and now he’s written it in The Resilient Farmer, weathering the challenges of life and the land.
It’s an honest and simply written account of his life and troubles which could have sunk him and nearly did. It’s sad in places but far from being depressing, it’s an inspirational read.
It’s one of the best stories of or by a farmer I’ve read but that doesn’t mean it will only appeal to people interested in farming and farmers.
The book would make a great gift for Fathers’ Day but that doesn’t mean it would only appeal to men.
It would be of interest to a wide audience, men and women, country and town.
The Resilient Farmer is co-authored by Margie Thomson with a foreword by Sir John Kirwan.
It’s published by Penguin Random House with a retail price of $40.
Doug has a website Resilient Farmer.
Doug and Wendy are interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon.
There’s more on Doug here