Being proactive, Niall McKenzie took himself for a checkup with his doctor.

When you have all the elements against you, you start to have doubts. You think that the world is against you and that couldn’t be further from the truth. We all have our own team in behind us. They are the ones that you can rely on to get the job done and keep you going. This is inspired by the recent TV programme called “Match Fit”. I found it incredibly humbling to see my All Black heroes suffering then striving. Powerful and inspiring.

Our action plan has been ‘more’ this season. More Nitrogen, more calves reared, more crop made, more balage and more time off. It might be a bit aggressive but we have had very pleasing results. We have high hopes that there will be a short summer dry and some good autumn growth.

Hope goes hand and hand with being positive.

As a reflection 2020 has been best described as nothing but being pretty shit. We suffered a drought that lasted 5 months. Mentally and physically it was draining. Don’t get me wrong I like a challenge, but then add in Covid. Delwyn was working fulltime teaching since August 8 to help build cash back up again. Then an opportunity arrived of a additional 50/50 job next door.

Sometimes you can not see the forest for the trees. This is when you know you’ve got your team in behind you. They make you smile and say to you Niall you’re being a dick. That’s what true friends do – keeping you real, honest and mentally fit. I believe all your friends do this – even the negative ones. Without them we wouldn’t be who we are.

We contacted our mentors and accountant and asked them their thoughts on the new sharemilking job. The accountant said, “These opportunities don’t come up when you are looking for them and you will never get money from the bank at a cheaper rate than now”. Then she re-affirmed that we have a very strong business. She said, “if you back yourselves a bank definitely will”. And sure enough two out of four major banks said yes, meaning that we got a competitive rate on the new loan.

On the 1st of February we add another 100 hectares on to the existing dairy farm. We are targeting calving down 200 autumn-calving cows (hopefully on budget). Then we are getting another 210 plus ha on the 1st of June with another cowshed on it. The properties are owned by our same farm owner. Very interesting times ahead.

Our key focus will be on our core values of Keeping It Simple Stupid (KISS) with a bit MORE.

With a four year contract, I thought that I didn’t want to start the new venture and then get sick so I needed to be pro-active for Super Del.

We have to be fair to the ones we love – for the next day and the next even when we are gone from this world. I feel part of that is looking after ourselves as well as them.

So I went to the Doctor. It was the first time in 6 years and I asked for a general check up. My timing was quite good as it was only two weeks after calving had finished. All blood tests came up positive and at the end of it the Doctor said “You are quite fit”.

I encourage all males to do this, to be fair to ourselves and the ones we care about.