The dairy industry wants you!
When we see a problem we fix it, when something is broken we rebuild it. Heritage farmers have focused not just on change but improvements for the better, of knowing the challenges and taking them on.
When we see neighbours and locals in need, we wrap around them, when we need labour we provide them with on farm housing because that is what farmers do, and that is what we will keep doing.
As a conscience farmer I am incredibly proud how far this community has come and I am proud to be part of this Aorere Valley, to be a dairy farmer on his heritage farm and to be accepted as a neighbour and friend.
But now we need the wider national farming heart, we need your values, your compassion, your motivation, we need your grit, your determination, because as farmers we need to make the difference.
We need to believe in climate differences, we need to believe in the ‘diff-ability’ of our natural surroundings and we need to believe in becoming openly adaptive to change. We can keep building knowledge, we can keep challenging the elite, we can keep demanding for the truth, we can keep digging for the natural answers, so we can keep doing this.
We can keep farming to our intuition, we can be conscience farmers, making the best decisions at the time, and we can make change for a better future.
So, I ask you all to lift your voice to collaboration, learn for yourself what the gaps in the science really are and be collectively clear that as the change makers we are also the fixers.
Without us, without our knowledge and without our cooperation, human fair trading with the planet will end.
• Deborah Rhodes is a dairy farmer from Collingwood, Golden Bay.