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Source: Ministry for Primary Industries

Rural groups are banding together to support farmers dealing with challenging weather conditions in Otago and Southland.

Parts of Southland received almost triple their normal September rainfall, a heavy dumping of snow, and a further 70 millimetres of rain last week.

The Southland Rural Support Trust is coordinating a range of initiatives to help boost farmer morale.

“The challenging weather has occurred during a busy time of the year and is taking a physical and mental toll,” says Trust chair Cathie Cotter.

“We’re encouraging farmers to get off-farm for a couple of hours to take a breath and reflect on how well they have coped.”

“These events will help farmers realise they are not alone and are all facing the same challenges,” she says.

The Southland Rural Support Trust, with the support of other organisations, is holding 7 brunches between 13 and 22 October.

Free workshops, co-funded by the Ministry of Health and Rural Women NZ, are also being held across Otago and Southland from 9 to 13 November to help rural women prioritise their wellbeing and thrive.

They’re being facilitated by Southland dairy farmer and former Dairy Woman of the Year Loshni Manikam and will offer practical tips and advice.

“I know how hard it is to prioritise looking after your wellbeing, especially when constant rain and snow create extra work on-farm,” says Ms Manikam.

“Women are central to the success of many farming businesses and families, and you can’t run on an empty tank.”

Thriving Southland, funded through the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), is hosting a free event in Invercargill on 22 October featuring guest speaker Melissa Clarke-Reynolds.

It will focus on helping farmers achieve positive outcomes through connecting with others and being innovative during periods of change.

World-leading motivational speaker Tony Christiansen is also fronting a series of events in Oamaru, Balclutha, Gore and Winton between 3 and 5 November.

Farmers who need help are encouraged to call their Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP or 0800 78 72 54 for confidential advice and support.

Event details

Brunch on us

Coordinated by Southland Rural Support Trust

Brunch on Us – Southland Events in October  

10am to 1pm

13 October 2020
Wyndham Hall

14 October 2020
Dipton Hall

14 October 2020
Tokanui Community Hall

16 October 2020
Waikaka Valley Hall

20 October 2020
Riversdale Rugby Club

21 October 2020
Athol Hall

22 October 2020
Orawia, Merrivale, Feldwick, Pukemaori and Districts Community Centre

Taking time to thrive

Facilitated by Loshni Manikam

Online booking for this event – Trybooking

11am to 2pm

9 November 2020

10 November 2020

11 November 2020

12 November 2020

13 November 2020

Moving to the front foot

Featuring Melissa Clarke-Reynolds

Online booking for this event – Thriving Southland

22 October 2020
Invercargill Workingmen’s Club

Tony Christiansen

Motivational speaker

Online booking for this event – Trybooking

3 November 2020

4 November 2020

4 November 2020

5 November 2020