The Resilient Farmer

August 31, 2017

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

 


NZer of Year shortlist announced

December 29, 2014

The New Zealander of the Year 2015 Awards Office has announced the shortlist of people being considered for the 2015 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

They are:

• Dr Sharad Paul: Surgeon and skin cancer specialist (Auckland)
• Sir John Kirwan: Rugby coach, mental health and depression awareness advocate (Auckland)
• Cassandra Treadwell: Chief executive and founder, So They Can (Lower Hutt)
• Sir Stephen Tindall: Founder, The Tindall Foundation (Auckland)
• Julie Chapman: Chief executive and founder, KidsCan Charitable Trust (Auckland)
• Barbara Ala’alatoa: Principal, Sylvia Park School (Auckland)
• Roana Bennett: Manager, Te Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Trust (Rotorua)
• Dr Susan Parry: Auckland City Hospital and Ministry of Health (Auckland)
• Cynthia Ward: True Colours Children’s Health Trust (Hamilton)
• Judge Peter Boshier: Law Commissioner (Wellington)

Comment from Chief Judge Cameron Bennett

Determining the New Zealander of Year is a very tough job for the judging panel. The calibre of nominations was very high.

Each of these individuals is extraordinary. Some have worked tirelessly to making other Kiwis better off while others have inspired us through being the very best at their chosen fields. All of them are unique and special New Zealanders. They are all Kiwis of whom we can be very proud.

Background

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their sixth year. They recognise, encourage and reward New Zealand’s most vital asset – its people. It is open to all New Zealanders and celebrates the contributions of Kiwis from all walks of life. More than 230 nominations were received for the 2015 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

In January, the judging panel – comprising representatives of all the awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts – will announce the final shortlist of three people being considered for the 2015 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.

The winner will be announced at the New Zealander of the Year Gala Awards evening in Auckland on 25 February, 2015.

Previous winners of the New Zealander of the Year Award are: Dr Lance O’Sullivan (2014), Dame Anne Salmond (2013), Sir Richard Taylor (2012), Sir Paul Callaghan (2011) and Sir Ray Avery (2010).

Other categories

The New Zealander of the Year Awards 2015 will also be honouring New Zealanders who have performed with distinction in five award categories. The semifinalists for those categories are:

University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year

Ben Dowdle (Auckland); Guy Ryan (Wellington); Tabby Besley (Wellington); Sebastian Hallum-Clarke (Wellington); Ella Yelich-O’Connor “Lorde” (Auckland); Jason Pemberton (Christchurch); Matt Strawbridge (Wellington); William Pike (Auckland); Te Rawhitiroa Bosch (Waikato); Henrietta McNeill (Invercargill); Malvindar Singh-Bains (Auckland).

Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year

Donald Sew Hoy (Auckland); Dr Brian Broom (Auckland); Gaylene Preston (Wellington); Kerry Bensemann (Christchurch); Betty van Gaalen (Kapiti); Kai Luey (Auckland); Bob Robertson (Queenstown); Roger Robinson (Auckland); Tong Too (Napier).

Mitre 10 Community of the Year

Paihia!; VisionWest Community Trust (Auckland); Kidscan (Auckland/NZ); Central Lakes Trust (Otago); Givealittle (NZ); South Alive Invercargill; Community Fruit Harvesting (Auckland/NZ); Pathway Trust (Christchurch); Rural Women New Zealand (NZ); Te Whangai Trust (NZ).

Sanitarium Innovator of the Year

Peter Beck (Auckland); Professor Shaun Holt (Tauranga); Kayne Horsham (Wellington); Glenn Martin (Christchurch); BCS Group (Auckland); Chris Rodley (Nelson); Neville Jopson (Dunedin); Pat Martin (Christchurch); William Palmer and Peter Beguely (Auckland); Peter Stothers (Auckland).

Kiwibank Local Heroes Awards

Amy Burke (Christchurch); Billie Jordan (Waiheke Island); Donald Rogers (Auckland); Helen Davidson (Roxburgh); Helen Henderson (Lower Hutt); Trevor Clarke (Auckland); Talitha Vandenberg (Paihiatua); Dame June Mariu (Auckland); Peter Willsman (Queenstown); Steven Parkinson-Loane (Christchurch).

More information on the awards is here.

 


Feds president contender for communicator of year

October 17, 2013

Federated Farmers National President, Bruce Wills, has been selected as a finalist for Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) Communicator of the Year.  

The award recognises skills in a leader who promotes open and honest communications within their organisation.

“It is great that Bruce has been selected as a finalist. Bruce has remained a balanced and clear communicator on issues relating to agriculture,” says Conor English, Federated Farmers Chief Executive.

“It goes to show just how highly regarded he is when you look at the other finalists – Sir John Kirwan, Blues Coach and ambassador for depression.org.nz, Otorohanga Mayor Dale Williams, and Tony Kokshoorn, Grey District Mayor, who are all leaders in their own right.

“Bruce has tirelessly advocated on behalf of New Zealand farmers, and his communication has enhanced a better understanding of farming and its value. Its great to have this recognised” concluded Mr English.

The recipient will be announced on Friday November 8 at a PRINZ event in Wellington. 

The reputations of Federated Farmers and farming have improved in the last couple of years.

Under the leadership of Bruce and Conor communication has been clear and positive lacked the defensiveness and negativity which characterised the organisation a few years ago.

They are both very good advocates for the organisation, farming  and rural New Zealand because of that.

It’s pleasing that two of the other three contenders, Dale Williams and Tony Kokshoorn, are from provincial New Zealand too.

We can’t compete on quantity with urban New Zealand so it’s even more important to have quality.


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