Proud to Be A Farmer NZ Farmers Fast Five : Where we ask a farmer five quick questions about Farming, and what Agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Hawkes Bay Proud Farmer Jeremy Rookes. You can catch Jeremy on The Country talking Farming with Jamie Mackay between 12-1pm every second Friday on Radio Sport Newstalk ZB , also on I Heart Radio.
How long have you been Farming?
I am a City Boy originally, but I have been farming on my own account since 1992. I finished a B.Com at Lincoln in June 1992, but started leasing a block in Waikari earlier that year. In 1998 my wife Mary and I bought a small farm at Waipara and added to that before selling it in 2013, we then bought 467ha here in the Hawke’s Bay at Flemington which is 20km South East of Waipukurau.
What Sort of Farming are you in involved in?
I have always been predominately a Breeder. I love Ewes (sometimes) and Cows. I was lucky to work for 2 great stockmen, who were both stud breeders, Arthur Blakely and Jimmy Murray. They taught me heaps about animals, what to look for and how to work them.
What makes me Proud to be a Farmer?
I am proud of Mary and my achievements in attaining our land. This is a beautiful Farm and we want it to remain so. I have also scanned sheep for 24 years, and I take immense pride in the efforts of both my clients and peers, who I have watched strive to and improve all aspects of their business (farms) over a long period, both genetically and environmentally. There is some great stuff going on out there and it’s a privilege to see it on a fairly wide scale in both Islands. Farmers love their land!
What do you love about your job as a farmer?
It has to been great to raise our children on the land and being a farmer has given me an advantage over my City mates as I spend so much time with them pre going to school. What a buzz it was to take your children out with you on the bike for a bit of Farming.
The good days on the farm, when the weather is calm and clear, the dogs have for once done what they are told and the animals respond accordingly are just the best. Nothing can beat it.
Also the lifestyle overall – remember folks that being self-employed is a privilege that you need to abuse with regular holidays!
What advice would you give to the next generation of Farmers?
Find the right balance between technology and good old fashioned stockmanship. Don’t change for changes sake – if you enjoy what you do and the system you have, then stick with it and do it well. Enjoyment is paramount. Oh and make sure you get on well and communicate with your Bank Manager!!