Category Archive: Farming with the farmer

Oct 29

Passersby get bearings wrong

Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’, daffodils are blooming and lambs have bloomin’ popped out everywhere. But unfortunately it’s not always a lamb that pops out but what farmers call a ring or bearing. In fact, it’s a prolapsed vagina. The farmer reckons about three of his sheep a year suffer this misfortune which, …

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Jul 08

Slimy brown scum – it has a name

Anticipating cultured conversation after a local theatre performance, we retired to the bar for a night cap. But as this is a rural area, talk was all about an entirely different type of culture – a strange gooey, gunky and shiny brown growth. I’d first spotted it while being a marshal for the Rally of …

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May 10

Talking to the animals

At a seminar about the challenges farmers face when employing staff, the farmer turned to me and whispered, “This is why I work with animals.” When you work with animals, you don’t need to talk to them and if you do, it doesn’t make a jot of difference to their behaviour. When he moved sheep …

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Apr 15

Male cows? A lot of bull

I’d just made morning coffee for a visitor when I spotted cattle meandering down the road. The visitor agreed to help return them to their paddock, saying he’d seen them on the road and, in retrospect, should have mentioned them. Townie, I thought. And, he said, he’d have sworn they were cows. Townie, I thought. …

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Mar 15

Moving feisty bulls – green exercise

My fitness programme – moving cattle every other day – is apparently ‘green exercise’, not because grass is involved but because it serves a purpose. However, like other fitness programmes, I soon didn’t want to do this one either. After turning off the power, I’d pin down the electric fence in the technosystem and step …

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Aug 13

Cut! It’s Country Calendar

REx and Rae taking scallops from a dredge

The Country Calendar camera was rolling when the farmer flung himself off the couch and started crawling towards the kitchen. He’d been quietly reading the newspaper while producer/director Kerryanne Evans interviewed me. Before filming started, we’d gone all out to ensure silence because the smallest sound gets picked up by the high-tech equipment. The fridge …

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Aug 03

Country Calendar crew is due

“I’ve got eagle eyes,” trilled the farmer in a most unfarmerly fashion while strolling down the hall and waving something small and shiny. “My watch!” I’d spent ages scouring the gravel road several kilometres from home where I was sure I’d lost it months earlier while moving bulls. Remarkably, it was in perfect condition which …

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Jul 25

Midnight search and no rescue

Large Friesian bull in a paddock

As we are a fully trained search and rescue team thanks to a late night request to help find a fisherman missing on the Kaipara Harbour, here are some handy hints, with the tips following the lessons and the most important tip last because that was our learning process. The farmer and I were asleep …

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Jun 18

Clever Kate

Farmers use special language to speak to dogs even though they – the dogs – can work things out themselves and understand conversational English. ‘The farmer’ appears to think dogs understand expletives and he uses terms like “Git away back” and “Git in behind” which I suspect are the farming equivalent of legalese which we …

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Apr 23

Quick as you can

Sheep on a quad with the farmer

When the farmer pops his head in the door and yells “As quick as you can,” I know he needs help – and fast. The expression was coined by his old friend and stock agent Goldie Rossiter. It’s best used when you want the other person to do something A) you don’t want to do, …

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