Proud to be a Farmer Farmers Fast Five: Richard Power
The Farmers Fast Five : Where we ask a farmer five quick questions about farming, and what agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Hawarden Proud Farmer Richard Power, who with his wife Mez, won the Romney section of this years Ewe Hogget Competition.
How long have you been farmer?
I am a third generation farmer. I was bought up on our stud sheep and beef farm where from a young age was taught how to handle and judge stock. After a stint at Lincoln I went lamb drafting for 5 years. Travelling around so many different farms gave me a great insight into different breeds and ways of farming. I carried on drafting for another 3 years after taking on the home farm with my wife in 1990 and changing to a commercial operation.
What sort of Farming are you involved in?
We are involved in a traditional dryland sheep/beef and crop operation, concentrating on early lamb production. All our lambs are gone by Christmas, and what doesn’t go prime is sold store. On a normal season the split would be 80% sheep and the beef/crop sharing 10% each. Beef cattle of any type are traded from Autumn to Spring and Barley is grown for a local farmer.
What makes you proud to be a farmer?
We are proud of the way we care about our land and animals and the lengths we go to ensure our products hit the market in the best possible condition. It is the journey from sowing the seeds to exporting the finished products off the farm.
We were especially proud this year of winning the NZ Romney ewe hogget competition, not only for ourselves but also for the district, which has just suffered 3 years drought, and to let our farming community know we are All still doing alright. I think the drought does knock your confidence so it’s a timely morale booster.
What do you love about your job as a farmer?
As a farmer I love the freedom of pretty much being able to make all my own decisions and work the hours I decide. To be able to bring up our three children in the great open spaces where they could have their own ponies and motorbikes and learn the responsibilities of owning them. I really enjoy the camaraderie we share with fellow farmers and the good natured encouragement we show towards each other.
What advice would you give the next generation of farmers?
Be prepared to work hard. (that is not the same as long hours) It is what you achieve in those hours.
Embrace technology, but don’t let it rule your life.
Keep things simple and sustainable.
Do the basics really well and be organised.
Be good custodians of the land