The 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 Mark Warren.
How long have you been farming?
At about age 6 I would pester local farmers in Geraldine to be allowed to ride with them in their land rovers and open the gates. I was lucky to get a wide range of experience from a very young age. That was over 50 years ago.
In 1984, two weeks before the Labour govt came to power with the harsh reality of Rogernomics, I was appointed manager of a family owned farming business that was in serious financial trouble. 56% lambing, 60% calving, 3 stock proof paddocks in 3000 aces, no fertiliser for 3 years and FEW as % of GFI at 99% (should be 50%). Then Rogernomics hit, hard. We were one of the lucky ones where our mortgage rate was capped at 18%. CA was 23%.
2.What sort of farming were you involved in?
Started my experience in the south island hill/ high country, then to Waipari which is east coast steep hill store country.
3. What makes you Proud to be a Farmer?
We work in harmony with mother nature to provide food, clothing and carpets for the world population. To a certain extent we bypass the greedy money system to live and eat very well.
4.What do you love about your job as a farmer?
Huge variation in the jobs and challenges we face, we get to see and share with others, the results of our days/ life’s work. Often the tools of our trade, are the coveted toys of the cash flow cowboys in town.
5. What advice would you give the next generation of farmers?
Think outside the square, some of the best farmers are those who didn’t come from a farming back ground and had no preconceived ideas but a very open mind. Land has almost always been frighteningly and unrealistically expensive at the time of purchase. Zig when others are zagging.