| 3 RURAL PEOPLE » Anthea Yule Drought’s effects ‘will be felt for years’ Sue Russell A sk Hawke’s Bay farmer Anthea Yule her opinion of the role the agriculture sector is playing through the ups and downs of Covid-19 and her answer is clear. “We have to continue to supply for local and overseas consumption the quality of food New Zealand has a world- wide reputation for.” Anthea is passionate about farming and its place in this country’s economic, social, and cultural fabric. Located in the Otamauri district, half an hour inland from Hastings, the two farms have a com- bined area of 512ha. The introduction of irrigation on 80ha of land close to the Ngaruroro river seven years ago intensified the farming system. Anthea and youngest son Charles breed, finish, trade and aim to winter between 6000 and 6500 stock units in a normal season. Sheep make up 65% of the stock units, including a South Suffolk Stud. “Water has changed the way we do things, but we still have a lot to learn. It’s fair to say that in Hawke’s Bay, there are a lot of issues surround- ing water access and use. If you have borrowed money to pay for irrigation, then it can get quite sensitive when the regional council wants to review all existing consents.” Water, or lack of it, impacts hugely on farm- ing in the province. The drought, which Anthea describes as the most challenging in her farming career, meant farmers had to reluctantly sell stock, including good breeding ewes and cows. “The flow on effect from the drought will be felt for years.” Anthea sees the bigger picture, not just from her own experiences, but from her roles with Feder- ated Farmers in Hawke’s Bay. “I am the vice-president and meat and wool chairperson. We are an advocacy group that looks out for everybody in the rural community. This past year has challenged us all. “Struggles vary in nature but seem insurmount- able when you are affected.” From Anthea’s perspective success in farming means different things to different people. “For some it might mean just getting through the year, good survivability at lambing or an improved water system. For others it might be getting that first farm, flock of ewes, herd of cows or a new tractor. For others success is good crop yield, improving the scanning percentage, the completion of a fencing project or negotiating suc- cession planning. “There are many layers to farming, and every- body farms in a different way. The urban perspec- tive is often critical, but people in town don’t get to see the whole picture, how decisions are made, what pressures are having an influence. “Pressure mounts and pressure gets to people. It builds up slowly and becomes the norm. “The drought and Covid-19 caused many of us to have less contact with others. The lack of input led to delayed decision making, tiredness and accidents.” If there has been a silver lining this year Anthea says it has to be the growing appreciation from the wider community for farmers we do. “We need to capitalise on this. Our future depends on it.” While currently farming in her district is presenting with plenty of challenges Anthea is the first to say she wouldn’t be anywhere else. “The rewards outweigh the set-backs, and no two days are the same. This is a long-haul industry and we need to remind ourselves of this from time to time.” “Pressure mounts and pressure gets to people. It builds up slowly and becomes the norm. The drought and Covid-19 caused many of us to have less contact with others. The lack of input led to delayed decision making, tiredness and accidents.” Congratulations to Anthea Yule Glenanthony Simmentals are proud to be able to meet Anthea's Service Bull requirements. BEEF FARMERS: Join the rush, buy a GLENANTHONY SIMMENTAL BULL this year for: • Extra live weight at weaning • Extra live weight at finishing • Less feed, less cost, less fuss! Glenanthony Democrat 33rd Bull Sale on Farm 825 Farm Road Waipukurau 12.30pm Friday, 25th June , see you there. Enquiries to Tony Thompson 027 280 6148 Like to come shearing in the sunny Hawkes’ Bay? We have jobs available frommid-May to end of September and mid-October through to March for seasonal sta . If you’d like to move here to live we have permanent positions available for the right people. All you need is a good work ethic and your gear. Accommodation available. Proud to sponsor Paranui. Phone Colin on 022 183 2200 or 06879 5553 Hawke’s Bay farmer and Federated Farmers meat and wool chair Anthea Yule says the recent drought in the province was the most challenging in her farming career. The photos – drought and post drought – taken from her Otamauri property near Hastings, show the extremes.