Words by: Brigette Ravera, Huntly/Tatuanui consulting officer

I know Kiwi dairy farmers have a long history of rising to challenges, no matter what that challenge is. While this year may have emphasised farmers’ ability to adapt and operate in rapidly changing environments, this isn’t a new trait – it has been around for generations.

Over the years working with farmers, I have been impressed with the hard work I see everyone doing – from the innovative technology being adopted, to the care farmers continuously have for their land and animals. Although it isn’t always easy to see the incredible work being done while you are focused on day-to-day work.

That is why I felt lucky to be involved in the development of a new campaign, Rise and Shine. Rise and Shine aims to inspire and motivate farmers by reminding them of their history and that we are world-leading. This is being shared through social media, farmer publications and a dedicated website.

To capture the true essence of what it means to be a dairy farmer, Rise and Shine was co-developed with a group of Waikato-based farmers.

These farmers shared their stories with us and got to the heart of why they choose to farm, what values are important to them, and what it means to be a dairy farmer.

These discussions highlighted four key values we feel every New Zealand dairy farmer embodies: care, connection to the land, adaptability and a balance between today and tomorrow.

Now as Rise and Shine comes to life, I feel privileged to have worked alongside farmers to develop this project. As I see the advertisements pop up on my screen, I remember the farmers who explained both why they farm, and what is important to them.

These stories and values are helping show our communities who we are, what we do and why we do it. This will help grow understanding of how we farm in NZ and why we should all be proud of our farmers and the dairy products we produce.

But, the most important thing about Rise and Shine is reminding all our farmers that they should be proud of what they do every day.

Our farmers create nutritious food, contribute to our economy and have become the world’s most sustainable dairy farmers – that is something to be proud of. But we also shouldn’t take it for granted. We should continue to strive to be the world’s best.

  • More? visit riseandshine.nz