A love letter to all NZ Farmers from a meat-eating Auckland urban Family
After hearing a presentation by Federated Farmers President Katie Milne, Auckland couple Maxine and Pete Nisbet felt moved to write the following:
50+ yrs ago when I married my hubby his uncles were farmers and shepherds (Northland). Their hard work produced meat & dairy for NZ, even shipping some of it round the world. Their respect and care of their animals & land was obvious to me … a townie unable to tell the difference between a bull and a cow. My first visit to their farms and meeting his family was the highlight of my honeymoon.
All these years later our kids, grandkids and great grand kids are city dwellers, as hubby and I are. All of us avid meat eaters. If it’s expensive we buy it! If it’s on special at the supermarket we buy it. If we eat at an upmarket restaurant – it’s steak or lamb every time. Our family doesn’t view meat as simply neatly glad-wrapped parcels purchased from the butcheries. We know where our meat and dairy come from.
Every one of our children and grandchildren have sat happily in their highchairs gnawing on beef & lamb chop bones – marvellous for teething babies. Every one of them had beef or lamb gravy from the roast slipped into their pureed veges by the time they were 8 or 9 months, and every one of our kids, our grandchildren and great grandchildren are healthy and strong. That’s due in no small part to the meat and dairy they have been fortunate enough to eat all their growing lives.
Your Covid-19 epidemic would have been Mycoplasma Bovis, which I hear some of you are still trying to sort out. You probably did a far better job quarantining your animals than Auckland City did with the circus of misdemeanours within the quarantine centres our government didn’t know how to handle.
We all watch Country Calendar on Sunday nights and yelled & swore at our TV screens during the fiasco of the F***T tax. (Our opinions of the politicians who tried to turn it into law at that time would be unprintable). The day one of you drove your tractor up Parliament steps as a result of some other short sighted policy driven by the government of the day, our whole family roared our approval. Pity his tractor didn’t make it to the Chambers!!*?!!***.
Our family members know you’re the backbone and strength of our economy; that you deal with wild weathers, floods, droughts and work long hours labouring on the hills and plains; as well as dealing with short sighted policies dumped on you by governments and politicians who get their targets and equations from graphs and computers, with no understanding of where the rubber REALLY hits the road, or how much you are already doing to keep our land safe and productive under your care.
A few days stay on a NZ farm for all policy makers requiring they take part in the labour, the long hours of hard physical work; the decisions and challenges you all face as farmers may help remove the scales from some of their eyes. I would love to see THAT shown on Country Calendar.
Unsung heroes continuing to ship dairy and meat overseas, and keeping our economy turning even during Level 4 of the lockdown when the rest of us were imprisoned in our homes.
To New Zealand Farmers - every one of you!!!! This family appreciates you. We have probably eaten lamb & beef from every farm in NZ. My city dwelling family are strong and healthy because YOU give us the gift of your labour and expertise year after year, after year……after year…. after year…. after year….
NO VEGETARIANS OR VEGANS IN THIS FAMILY!!!!!!!
Our Huge & Deep appreciation from us to you all
Maxine & Pete Nisbet - Auckland.