Ahuroa fire chief Alistair Todd (left) and Glorit farmer David Fletcher.
Looking after the cooking were, from left, Hamish Matthews (Dairy NZ), Leanne Crean (FMG) and Nikita McCahon (Fonterra).
From left, Karyn Maddren, Sue Meszaros and Shelley Morrison, of Streamland Suffolk, on West Coast Road enjoyed the opportunity to get off the farm and catch-up with neighbours.
Euan Honore (left), who raises beef cattle at Waitoki, and Alan Penney, an organic dairy farmer from Wainui.
It was a small gathering, but no less appreciated by the participants at a Breakfast on Us event for farmers at Glorit Hall carpark on July 29. Organised by the Northland Rural Support Trust, in collaboration with industry bodies and rural businesses, the breakfasts were held throughout Northland to provide an informal opportunity for rural neighbours to catchup.
Trust coordinator Nicola Deveraux, of Mangawhai Heads, says it is no secret that farmers have been hit hard this year by drought, Covid and flooding.
“Most farmers are feeling stretched,” she says. “There are farmers who re-seeded their paddocks after the drought only to see it all washed away in the floods. Fences and paddocks have been damaged – it’s been a tough time all round.”
Nicola says the trust provides free and confidential assistance to farmers, horticulturalists and viticulturalists, and their families and farm workers, and can point people in the right direction for further advice and help if they need it. The referrals can be for professional counselling, financial advice or farm management expertise.
The Government recently provided extra funding to rural support trusts to improve access to mental health support. Coordinators have been trained to recognise and manage signs of depression or extreme stress, and are connected to rural health professionals. However, Nicola says that sometimes it is just as simple as providing someone with a listening ear. To contact the trust, phone 0800 787 254 or visit rural-support.org.nz