"Put your hand up and ask for help"
Stay away from negativity and don't be afraid to ask for help are 2 tips that farmer Hannah Topless has for her counterparts around New Zealand.
Great swathes of Hannah's 150ha Taranaki dairy and sheep farm in Strathmore, eastern Taranaki, were flooded or cut off in the storms of June 2015.
"We had 340ml of rain in one weekend," said Hannah. "Rivers overflowed, taking out fences and gouging out races; and landslides took out culverts and fences, and cut off access to some of the farm."
Hannah says that they were fortunate to have strong community links, particularly with her local church, as well as their Rural Support Trust, FMG and Federated Farmers.
They also had amazing support from the Fonterra emergency response team, who mobilised farmers from around Taranaki to help clear up.
"We suddenly had people clearing the debris off the fences which would have taken us forever," says Hannah. "It was great proof that when times get tough on the farm there are always ways to get through and people who can help, you just have to put your hand up and ask."
Hannah's story is part of a new radio series in association with the Ministry for Primary Industries, Rural Support Trusts, Horticulture NZ and Beef & Lamb NZ. The series aims to share farmer and grower experiences of getting through adversity, and encourage people to go to the organisations who are set up to help.
The full interview can be heard on the Farming Show:
Farmers, growers, workers and their families facing adversity in its many forms are encouraged to call Rural Support Trusts on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) for a free, confidential chat.
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