MBovis Eradication

The government’s announcement last week that it aims to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis from New Zealand is a mixed-blessing for our district. While it is welcome news for our beef and dairy industries for the long term, it heralds more uncertainty for farmers over the next couple of years.

The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone in battling this disease. It has been heartening to see the collective response to helping our farming community. The support offered at last week’s special meeting, hosted by Federated Farmers, showed just how much there is on offer for farmers and their families.

I urge anyone who needs assistance to reach out, whether to a neighbour, family member, friend or their GP. If you know someone who is struggling, let them know that you’re there for them and encourage them to seek help.

There are plenty of organisations ready to provide industry support too.  For advice and support specific to our district, contact the Rural Support Trust hotline in the first instance – 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) which offers advice and support.  The Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust is well connected to Ashburton District Council, with Councillors Peter Reveley in the role of Chairman and Selwyn Price recently taking up the position of Secretary.

DairyNZ has a wealth of resources available on its website to help answer any questions you may have. There are also a number of channels available for farmers and farm workers to help maintain their wellbeing, such as the Farm Strong website and Farmer Support Line.

ANZ and Westpac have announced financial packages for farmers to help them stay on their feet and ultimately re-establish their herds. This assistance is available immediately, including access to short-term funding and suspension of principal repayments on loans.

​This isn’t the first time our district has faced difficult times and it isn’t likely to be the last. I know the people in our community are strong, resilient, caring, supportive and compassionate. Now is the time to come together and show that compassion and empathy for those around us.

Page reviewed: 16 Aug 2018 11:01am